Tuesday, August 21, 2012

When A Community Comes Together

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 8/21/2012 No comments
I'm constantly reminded of how there are so many people in Charlotte who are working, volunteering, donating, and doing many great things to help address one of the most challenging issues of our time: how to provide a quality education and learning environment for all children.

I attended a luncheon not quite three weeks ago that the Charlotte Chamber put on at Ballantyne Hotel. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' new superintendent, Dr. Heath Morrison, was the guest speaker. Of the many memorable and encouraging remarks by Dr. Morrison (click here, here, here, here, and here for some of my then-live tweets), one of the things I concur with the most is when he said: I've never seen a business community so ready to roll up its sleeves to help education the way Charlotte does.

A shining example of that was the second annual Back to School Youth EmpowHERment Summit a few weeks ago, put on by T.I.M.E. (Taking Initiative Moving Efficiently), and led by Carrie Cook. I had the privilege of dropping in for the afternoon portion of the all-day event. Carrie rounded up sponsors, presenters, volunteers, entertainment, and more to present an impactful experience to 100 Charlotte girls in grades seventh through 12th. Carrie, since 2009, has worked as a regional liaison for U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, leading the Charlotte office and 14-county area, but it's the many hours of her personal time she devotes to the community, through events like the summit, that is most impressive.

Carrie Cook.

"I already had a passion for working with young girls, but something was saying to me to do more," Carrie says, regarding why she launched the Youth EmpowHERment Summit in 2011. "They need to see that there are a lot of positive, dynamic women in the Charlotte community that they can look to as role models. Because when they look on TV, their role models are [on] Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, and Real Housewives, and Basketball Wives. They need to see that there are women in the community who are roboticists, and engineers, and authors, and professors, nurses, and everything else we had on the panel... But more important than those occupations, these women are servant leaders."

Click here to see hundreds of photos from the Youth EmpowHERment Summit.
Photos by Jon Strayhorn/Media Arts Collective. 

Here are a few upcoming back-to-school events that further exemplify the great efforts by local volunteers, community leaders, and organizations. Please show your support.

Back to School Bash—New Life 91.9
Wednesday, August 22, 6:30-8 p.m. | Stumptown Park, 120 S. Trade St., Matthews
New Life 91.9 presents this event in support of A Child's Place, featuring a performance by contemporary Christian singer Chris August. Price of admission is school supplies for ACP, and you're encouraged to bring blankets and folding chairs to enjoy an evening in the park. Vendors will be selling food, and you're allowed to bring your own food and drinks (alcohol not permitted).

Back to School Bash—Prodigal Son Foundation
Saturday, August 25, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. | Ray’s Splash Planet, 215 N. Sycamore St.
The Prodigal Son Foundation, in association with Glam23 PR & Events, is putting on this event for the third consecutive year. School supplies will be given away, while kids will also be treated to fun activities. The event will take place on the field, the gym, and inside the actual splash park. It’s free to the public, with the first 50 kids being allowed to swim for free between 10:30 a.m. and noon, and a $6 fee for anyone else inside the splash park. If you would like to sponsor or donate to this event, email lwray@prodigalsonfoundation.org or call 704-942-8381.

Cuttin' Class: Community Hair Cutting Day
Saturday, August 25, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | No Grease! Barbershop, 1531 Central Ave.
No Grease and The It Factor Media Group present this event twice a year as kids prepare to go back to school (the other is in January after the holiday break). Boys will be given free haircuts, and boys and girls will receive book bags and school supplies. NBA players will also be present to sign autographs, and complimentary refreshments will be served. RSVP at ff@theitfactormedia.com.


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