Fighting Poverty with Passion
“The Broadmoor Education Corridor aims to provide a holistic set of resources for education, recreation, culture, health, and individual development over an entire lifetime.”
This is the mission of my VISTA site. October has been a great month for me here, and I feel like I’ve really connected with the mission and the idea of creating holistic solutions towards a common goal. The common goal in the neighborhood of Broadmoor is individual growth and community-wide advancement. Basically, community development and making everyone’s lives better, whatever that might mean.
As an undergraduate, I studied International Development. A lot of the time, this meant studying very broad problems- maternal health, hunger, education- and how to tackle these issues in specific locations with very specific programs. This was all great and good, but here in New Orleans I can so much more clearly see the effects of using many smaller-scale programs combined for an overall better quality of life. The BEC offers programs for new parents and babies, to toddlers, to youth, all the way up to seniors. The programs work together- reading, music, cooking, arts, sports, a food pantry, and all kinds of different health and wellness programs- for an overall impact that is significant.
My job as a VISTA here is to provide resources for unemployed and under-employed residents. I’ve been communicating a lot with programs from Total Community action, the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and the Urban League, among others, about the good work that they’re already doing to help better prepare New Orleanians for finding and keeping employment. Workforce development is just a small piece of the bigger picture here, but by creating tools and programs with which people can help themselves, I feel like I’m contributing to something much larger at work. This is a common theme for many of the programs here in the Broadmoor Education Corridor, and I’m excited to share more about what’s happening at my site, the Rosa Keller Library and Community Center, as the year goes on.