Some of the most significant issues in Frederick County are problems related to family and children. On November 14th, 2019, the Frederick County Local Management Board held a community convening to tackle issues related to family and children in Northern Frederick County. The mission of this convening was expressed as, “Frederick county is embarking on a process to identify community needs and recommendations for the well-being of children, youth, and families. Our ‘Community Convening’ will share data and information on how Frederick county is helping youth and families be successful in life.” This is a part of a series of convenings being held with both youth and adults to gather enough information to create a needs assistance tool. This will be used to bring more funding to communities that lack it.
Eleven Getting Ahead graduates, two clergy, three community members, and six staff members met at noon on Thursday for pizza and deep discussion. After opening statements about the purpose of convening, five issues were introduced: child maltreatment, child poverty, child homelessness, neglect, and employment for youth ages 16-24. Then everyone was divided into five groups, each group taking on a different topic. In these groups, they looked at what are our community’s strengths when dealing with this issue. They analyzed statistics related to the problem, what tools our community has to tackle this issue. And, finally, they brainstormed ideas on how to overcome this problem. Once each group completed their discussions and analysis, they presented their findings to the collective community.
The Seton Center Getting Ahead graduates stepped into leadership roles, not only when they were in small groups, but while presenting their findings and throughout the convening. They are truly emerging leaders, a catalyst for change in the Northern Frederick area. At the Convening, Seton Center was recognized for our work to combat unemployment, homelessness, and poverty in the Northern Frederick community, and we were noted as a “Prominent Force” when tackling these issues.
Thank you to Leslie Barnes, Brooke Sims, and Jennifer Backer-Frey for putting this event together and encouraging conversation about these pressing issues.