From A Space To A Place
Step 3: Strength and Needs: Looking for clues
We invited several diverse community leaders, encompassing a wide range of involvement, to talk to the kids about their work. The students, who were taught interview techniques in a prior session, then interviewed them. Through this process, the children learned a fair amount about each leader’s motivations, visions, dreams, professional background and commitment to their community. The youth were truly inspired by these accessible, accomplished individuals and the tangible impacts they had made on their neighborhoods.
Meeting and interacting with these leaders helped the students learn more about their community from various points of view. They observed the strengths of their neighborhood and its people, but also discovered some of the challenges they faced. After being informed about these matters, the children were compelled to alleviate the needs of their community.
The community leaders who participated with Marshall Middle School included: Delphina Torres, the owner of Dell Ice Cream store; Lionardo Matamores and Frank Aguilar, two elders who renovate old houses in the neighborhood; and Bill Lipscomb, owner of Blumenthal Sheet Metal Co.
Those who participated with Change Happens included: Chris Clemons, Executive Pastor at Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church; Paola Alejandra, a classically-trained dancer with the Houston Ballet for many years; Harrison Guy, community activist and Artistic Director at Urban Soul Dance; Abidemi from Nigeria, who is opening a studio in the 3rd ward where he will be working and teaching people in the community; Nathan, a homeless veteran and poet living on the streets of Houston since 2002; Deloyd Parker, Executive Director at the Shape Community Center.