Regent Announces Neighborhood Partnership
By Brett Wilson | April 3, 2013
Dr. Carlos Campo, Regent president, speaks to the community gathered at Coleman Place Elementary School.
"Everyone, repeat after me," said Regent University student Hannah Jones (Psychology) as she addressed members of the Coleman Place and Regent communities. "I am special, I am amazing and I will succeed!"
Jones' surge of encouragement is only the beginning for Building Together, a five-year partnership between Regent and the Coleman Place neighborhood in Norfolk, Va. The program launched on Thursday, March 28, as Regent students, faculty and staff participated in a number of activities at Coleman Place Elementary School. Volunteers helped clean up around the school, served hot chocolate and snacks, and even painted the faces of the elementary school students present at the event. All, of course, in an effort to bring the two communities together.
"At Regent, we believe in 'Christian Leadership to Change the World,'" said Regent president, Dr. Carlos Campo as he welcomed participants joining the evening's partnership celebration. "But in order to change the world, you have to know the world."
Getting to know the world, according to President Campo, starts with becoming immersed in the local community. Building Together engages a similar approach; as the relationship with Coleman Place strengthens over the span of the five-year commitment, Regent volunteers will be able to discern the programs that would most benefit the community.
"It's important to know what the people here see a need for," explained Jones. "We want to accommodate those needs."
Jones, a doctoral student in Regent's School of Psychology & Counseling, will document the progress of the partnership. Her favorite part of the critical role she will play is giving back to Hampton Roads, a community that once offered her similar support and guidance.
"This is my extended family—and these are my friends," said Jones.
Through Building Together, Regent volunteers will provide a variety of resources to the Coleman Place community—resources such as tutoring, family counseling and pro bono legal advice.
"This sort of talent transforms communities," said Norfolk mayor, Paul D. Fraim. "This is exactly what a faith-based university should be doing."
Both Regent University and Coleman Place leadership hope that the start of the five-year commitment will inspire the creation of similar partnerships.
"We're hopeful this will be a model that we can lift and take to other universities and colleges across the country," said President Campo.
Though he certainly echoes the optimism for programs such as Building Together beginning in other educational facilities across the nation, Dr. Callie M. Richardson, principal of Coleman Place Elementary School, is excited that this partnership is starting at his school.
"I've seen a lot of growth during my time here, but we're looking for more, too," said Richardson.
Although he has served in his current position as principal for nearly a decade, Richardson explained that this partnership adds a new facet to his job: support. Richardson hopes the members of his community will take advantage of the activities hosted by Regent in the future.
"This partnership is about so much more than just this one event," said Richardson. "I'm excited, and we're all truly blessed."
Mindy Hughes, Public Relations
Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888
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