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Lessons from the 2014 NeighborWorks Training Institute

For those of you who are curious why Jonathan, Bethany, and Stephanie were under palm trees instead of behind their desks last week, you might be interested to know that the trio was in sunny Orlando, Florida for an intense week of learning at the NeighborWorks Training Institute! We asked each of them to supply some key takeaways from their classes. Here’s what they said:


Jonathan Weaver, Housing Counselor

1) “I am always in awe of the people I meet. Some have their own life burdens but continue to give so much to others and their communities.”

2) “Housing counseling comes in so many different varieties, from super stores with 10+ counselors  to one-man/women shops like MVI.”

3) “The upcoming HUD testing has thrown everyone for a loop in anticipation of what knowledge (depth of programming) will be required when the final ruling has been made.”


Bethany Bloise, Community Outreach Specialist

1) “‘Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed citizens to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’ ~ Margaret Mead”

2) “I learned about the process of Community Visioning, in which the facilitating organization guides community members to form a vision for their community and a strategy for how to get there.”

3) “Over a dozen tools and techniques exist for community organizers to use for community engagement and involvement.”


Stephanie Eson, Community Outreach Specialist

1) “The three key components for building a successful coalition are: empowerment, trust, and identification of good partners.”

2) “Everyone has gifts of the hand, head, and heart. Each of these gifts, when identified and shared, builds community.”

3) “‘We are motivated by what we don’t have, to use what we do have, to get what we want.’”


Ask us about what else we’ve learned! We are excited to share. Thank you to NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania for sending us to NTI Orlando!

Mon Valley Initiative