When did you learn the value of a professional or social network? College? During your first job hunt?
Fortunately for 60 Eastway Middle School eighth-graders, by the time they're ready to look for their first jobs, they should already have a network in place thanks to events like 6 Degrees of Charlotte, hosted by Citizen Schools.
Each student arrived with business cards and a mission: to mingle with the nearly 150 Charlotte-area business professionals who attended the Feb. 1 gathering at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, inquire about their careers and exchange business cards.
Kamilya M., an aspiring elementary school teacher, said, "I'm thinking about calilng them so they can give me advice."
On Tuesday night, February 1st, Shamrock Elementary School PTA hosted another successful grade level dinner for students and their families to come out to the school, enjoy a meal in a casual, no pressure setting and socialize with teachers, staff and other parents. As President of the Shamrock Elementary PTA, Pamela Grundy is in her fourth year of creating these dinners - one per grade, per year. The dinners, intended to build relationships between the parents and school and other parents, have come a long way in the past four years. "The first year, I had one of my student's parents show up. This year, my students' parents are the last to leave," one teacher remarked, as we looked over to a group of laughing parents. With 60 students in each grade, approximately 80 to 120 people are typically present at the dinner.
Last November, more than 100 women gathered to follow In the Footsteps of Abraham—an event presented by the Muslim Women of the Carolinas (MWOC). On Sunday, women gathered at the Mint Museum of Art to continue the discussion.
The gathering was a mixture of religions, including Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Baha’i. Despite these differences, the women in attendance learned that they had more in common with each other than they had imagined. One woman in attendance noted that she was “moved by how many of us are searching for a connection with God.”
On Jan. 26 and 27, leaders of the Hip Hop Caucus hosted a Speak Out event to give students at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) and Livingstone College more information about clean energy and the green movement. A national, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works in urban communities to engage young people in elections, policy making and community service projects, event organizers hoped the sessions would mobilize students to become a part of the Caucus’ One Planet. One Voice. campaign that will launch March 4 from Charlotte during the CIAA tournament.
One Planet. One Voice. is the Caucus’ new global green campaign that will raise awareness of the impact of climate change, fossil fuels, pollutants and toxins on vulnerable communities, and aims to build upon the voice of the people to find real solutions to these environment and economic challenges. During the Speak Out sessions, leader Rev. Lennox Yearwood expressed the importance of the clean energy movement.
“This is not a game for me,” said Yearwood. “This is the lunch counter movement of our generation. If we don’t win this battle our children’s children will talk about how we didn’t make this happen. This is about work; it is not about flashing lights. It is about our existence.”