September is a time for new beginnings. School is back in business and so is Project Change, with five more member slots than before, and new partners to join the collaborative work that CHANGE has been doing in Montgomery County for the past 16 years. We want to thank our MD State and Federal funders for their vote of confidence in what we are doing.
These inspired volunteers met today as a team for the first time and got a sense of the power of shared service. Each member introduced the role they would be playing and the need that they would be seeking to meet-from kids who are grieving the loss of a parent and in danger of dropping out of school, to 17 year olds who have only had 5 years of formal schooling due to family disruption or separation; from inspiring smart high-schoolers to imagine what their parents never could, a future in college, to teaching advocacy to talented teens through the media of video and graphic arts. The diversity of the partners makes the program so rich in stories, stories that every training day, we want to capture.
The length and breadth of the service the CHANGE team is offering also gives the program a privileged insight into the deeper needs of students in Montgomery County. Our members are eager to use their training times to share what they are learning, as well as share what they are teaching. Every day, their service is taking the pulse of the county.
What makes CHANGE even more important and unique is that 10 out of the 16 members are all graduates of Montgomery County Public Schools. CHANGE affords them a special way to give back. As the only Montgomery County/ MCPS inspired and supported AmeriCorp program serving Montgomery County students and one that actively recruits MCPS graduates among its members, Project CHANGE is proud to continue to serve the county that gave it birth.