BY ARIN SHATTO, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT VISTA, THE HUB
Passionate West Virginians are kicking off a new adventure as Blueprint Communities!
Teams at The Hub and the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) of Pittsburgh hosted the Blueprint Communities Kickoff on May 28 and 29 in Bridgeport. Members of each of the selected communities – Kingwood, Lewis County, Meadow River Valley in Greenbrier County, the Monticello neighborhood in Clarksburg, New Martinsville, and Parsons – came to the table with passion and commitment.
It is evident that these teams are ready to get to work and start creating positive change in their communities.
Over the course of the two-day event, team members united to orient themselves around the Blueprint Communities program, explore team and individual roles, and engage in workshops designed to prepare them for the year ahead. Teams collaborated well with one another and generated an array of ideas.
They also participated in an inspiring ceremony to celebrate their accomplishments. Several guest speakers shared their words of wisdom and encouragement for the communities, including John Bendel, Senior Director, Community Investment with FLHBank; Senator Shelley Moore Capito; Stephanie Tyree, Executive Director of The Hub; Lori McKinney, co-founder of Create Your State and previous Blueprint Communities participant with Princeton; and Winthrop Watson, President of FHLBank. Speakers from The Hub and FHLBank also noted the attributes of each group that made them shine in the application process.
The communities are now hitting the ground running!
They have begun meeting with their community coaches to delve into their individual strengths, establish team roles, brainstorm priorities to work on. Each team is also starting to coordinate their community-based program kickoffs, where they will “kick off” this journey with their community members, and discuss their vision for their community and projects they would like to see happen as a community.
The Blueprint Community Kickoff was an exciting start to a year of growth ahead. We are looking forward to accompanying each of the teams throughout this process and watching community development come to fruition across the state!