This past Saturday, April 15th the Westgate Street Team conducted its first community outreach campaign to promote resources in their community and “voter awareness” was the order of the day. This campaign was sponsored by Democracy North Carolina – a non partisan organization that works for fair and impartial elections and who also maintains an “on-the-ground grass-roots presence every year all year long”. Their regional director, Marques Thompson immediately saw it as a worthwhile venture to partner with the Westgate Street Team as they work to reach the communities within their region. They held a quick morning training at the NC CIVIL office and provided the youth group with information and materials to carry into their community and help raise awareness on fair voting districts, and to educate on how communities can have a voice in this matter. Within 2 hours the group was out and back with over 300 resident contacts, surveys, and signatures. They accomplished this while also picking up trash and having fun around the neighborhood. Although these are not monumental numbers, this proves that our young people want to be involved, and that they can be worthy partner in carrying resources to neighborhood residents.
The Westgate Project celebrates many major partnerships that span the greater Greenville area. These partnerships have an amazing potential to improve communities with resources. The question has always been how to increase presence and promote these resources to the community, while the solution has always required community agents to act as spokespersons for available resources. The unlikely component is that the same young adults who the Westgate Project aims to serve and the same young adults that are often viewed as charity cases are actually the best advocates to serve their communities as spokespersons for resources.
The argument being waged here is that the lives of these young adults can be changed by immediately assigning them a functional role in their society. Such a role exists in the Westgate Project right at the center of all its major partnerships. As more of our partners help to empower the Westgate Street Team, we expect to deliver more resources to our community and our community becomes a training ground for its young people to learn skills suited for the world beyond its boundaries. Working with our major partners we will also provide further education and training, interning and employment opportunities for the young people as real paths to the world beyond their communities.
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Ask how your young adult can join the efforts.