BY SATHIYAN SIVAKUMARAN, HUBCAP III VISTA, THE HUB
We held our second program-wide meet up for participants in the Communities of Achievement Program (HubCAP) this April. The convening brought together community members from Richwood, Princeton, Matewan, Hinton, and Whitesville to learn from each other and from experts in community development. The meet up was a way to build teamwork and encourage collaboration.
A total of 19 community members from 5 communities made the trip to Beckley, WV, where they were met by the key facilitators of the sessions: Kaycie Stushek, Eric Pories, and Barbara Wyckoff. After the community members gathered in the meeting space, the convening kicked off with the buzz of excitement. It was time to get started.
The first day consisted of many sessions, ranging from teams reporting on their past 5 months of progress to the importance of measuring achievement, and even to diving into a conversation on demand. At lunch, the HubCAP teams were joined by Dave Clark and Emily Wilson-Hauger of the Woodlands Development Group were accompanied by Bryson VanNostrand, an architect engaged in many community development projects, to discuss redevelopment.
Dave Clark, Emily Wilson-Hauger, and Bryson VanNostrand presenting on redevelopment.
The day was capped off by a session on creative problem solving and finally, a skit based off the book, Our Iceberg Is Melting. To many of the community members, the skit may have been the highlight of the day. It gave the five community teams a chance to mingle, as they were split into two teams for skits, and provided a fresh dose of energy after an intensive day.
Residents from all five communities performing a skit.
After learning about a funding opportunity, the teams got to work on creating a community outreach plan on the second day. Thanks to Emma Pepper and Barbara Wyckoff, the five community teams were supplied with a guidebook, messaging tools, checklists, and activities to work on throughout the session and to continue to utilize in pursuit of their goals.
The convening came to a close with a team assessment and time to gather their minds to prepare for the months to come. Teams expressed what they enjoyed and what could improve; the teams loved interacting with each other to engage in fun activities.
Joe Vagott from Matewan shared that he, “learned a lot and had a great time.” Other attendees, like Ray Moeller from Richwood, expressed gratitude that the HubCAP team organized this productive event.
While thank you’s were expressed to the many people, both organizers and attendees, involved in making the convening a success – the final and largest thank you goes to all of the community members, who made it to the convening and those who couldn’t make it, committed to making a change within West Virginia.