Carmen and her two children moved to Holyoke in 1981. Over the years she has witnessed the decline of her neighborhood. Recently, the South Holyoke Neighborhood Association was formed. Carmen started volunteering with the association and eventually enrolled in Way Finders’ Resident Leadership Program. Today, Carmen is the association’s President. She is making great strides for her community in the areas of public safety, and beautification.
Way Finders defines community engagement as our work with residents and relevant partners to develop workable strategies to improve the overall health and wellbeing of a community.
Effective community development depends on resident involvement. It's not work that can be 'applied' to a neighborhood. Way Finders, together with community collaborator, helps residents identify issues and create solutions that make life better for all. This work takes place in all types of neighborhoods, addressing issues large and small. From tackling blight and lack of job opportunity to neighborhood beautification, our goal is always the same: Let's work together to create communities where everyone thrives.
We have witnessed the power of leadership that comes from within. Our success depends on building more capacity among more individuals. We help build connections, neighbor to neighbor, and we teach neighbors how to advocate on their own behalf. Community engagement takes time and patience but the rewards are great.