Like the African proverb “It takes a village to raise child”, was the prevailing thought that started Project Success in the early 1990’s. We invited people from the community, provided some breakfast and 65 people came to listen and discuss what we could do together to support the youth of Wabash County. The conversation and the people are still coming almost 20 years later.
We have been thoughtful and intentional in our efforts to raise public awareness around underage drinking, responsible choices and behaviors and supporting “all kids”. Like a child we have grown from first steps in what to do through puberty which is sometimes pretty chaotic in its ideas and those 20’s where we thought we had all the right answers. As in life we have become more adult – more deliberate in our approach on how we make decisions and more determined to engage all segments of our community.
Do we have all the answers – no – but we do have a long history of successes: the creation and implementation of a character education program for the school district; the development of an emergency dental program for low income children and youth; a youth conference for high school and middle school students and; the successful implementation of a city ordinance to ban marijuana-like substances from being sold by retailers. The contributions made by the coalition for the youth and community have been achieved by the active engagement of our members.
What are we doing now – where are we going? Project Success is now a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit which enables us to seek grant and foundation funding and allows individuals to make tax exempt donations. We have strengthened our by-laws and adopted Policy and Procedures. Community change does not come about by bringing the right people together. In order for the coalition to continue as a viable organization that is aligned with the community it requires conscious, targeted group action. We have three Project Teams that are working on communications and marketing, recruitment and controlled party dispersal. These were areas that were identified through data collection and assessment by the coalition.
We are moving forward and invite you to join us in this important work.