By: Shelley Fashan
Mature students, or any student regardless of their age, go through a lot of emotional changes and anxiety. Many questions are rolling through your head, such as; "are they going to like me?" The self-doubt one, "can I do this?" And last but not least, "what if I say the wrong thing?" My first day in this office quickly erased all of my silly anxieties and fears. I was welcomed with a mixture of warmth and curiosity by this tight knit community.
I acquired a placement with the Community Economic Development (CED) division of the Greater Halifax Partnership working with Carolann Wright-Parks, Manager of CED and the Youth Coordinator, Derek Wongus out of the Preston satellite office. Simply stated, community economic development is the development of a community, by the community, for the community; the community and its people determine their social and economic goals with a holistic approach to attaining these goals.
The Preston satellite office brings together people of all ages and at all stages of life. It is a virtual hive of activity, with meetings, training, development and creation of all manner of activities from arts and culture to nature trails. Within in a very short time, I have connected with so many hardworking community-minded folks who are committed to being a part of the community’s future.
Here is a snapshot of one of my days last week. Around 10 a.m, the Preston Trails Association held their meeting at the board table situated in the centre of this office. Tara called to find out about meeting dates for the Preston Arts Centre’s board meeting. Then around noon, Cheke dropped by to look at the space to see if it would accommodate her literacy students Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I gave her a quick tour and while we talked she shared some amazing African folk stories. I encouraged her to come back soon and tell me more. The day ended with a young student popping in to ask for some newspapers for her school project. There’s some great things happening at the Preston Satellite office and I have really loved being a part of it. I thank the Greater Halifax Partnership for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this community energy in action.
For more on the Preston Satellite office, the Greater Halifax Partnership and their partners, you can contact Carolann Wright-Parks at (902) 219-2712 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shelley Fashan is a soon-to-be graduate from the Public Relations Diploma Program of Eastern College, 2010, here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is currently serving her work term with the Greater Halifax Partnership, Community Economic Development unit. Shelley’s past experience in community development is rich and extensive. She has served on many Boards and Agencies, including the African Nova Scotian Music Association, the Charles Taylor Theatre Society, the Eastern Front Theatre Society and the Natal Day Committee of HRM. In addition, she offers consultation on Public Relations, Arts and Culture and Event Planning.