Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a great holiday season as I have and a good start to the new year. 

To kick off the year, the Cooper-Young Community Association board recently held a retreat to discuss our vision and plans for 2020. It was held at Epicenter, our local entrepreneurship hub, and we were joined by April Steele, a consultant from Southern Growth Studios. She led us through a series of exercises to help us recognize where the board and the CYCA itself have strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to improve or grow. It was the first meeting of that type I have been to, and I found it to be very insightful. Through this retreat, we’ve identified some areas that can be strengthened in the fundraising arena, and April led us through some creative exercises to come up with some new ways to raise money for the association. I’m encouraged that we can make real improvements going forward and have fun while doing it. That said, my favorite part was probably the free lunch at Mulan!

In other news, I’m entering my final semester of high school, and I can’t wait to graduate, even if it means leaving Cooper-Young behind. Next month, I will start hearing from many of the colleges I have applied to, so stay tuned for updates about where my scholarship money from the CYCA is headed. 

Until then, there is lots still to do in the neighborhood to fulfill the vision we discussed at the retreat. I’ll stay on the board until May, and I am excited to continue working with the STEAMbassadors. It’s a new year and a new opportunity to continue making Cooper-Young the best place to live in Memphis.

I’d also like to thank Sheree for everything she’s done for the board, me as an individual, and the neighborhood at large. Her dedication and passion have been inspiring to everyone with whom she interacts. I wish her the best on the next step of her journey.

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