Inclusive Prom Update #1

Inclusive Prom Update #1

Dear Community,

Since receiving the $4,000 from the 24 Hour Citizens Project we have hit the ground running! Inclusive Prom will be taking place on Saturday, March 11th from 7:00-10:00pm. Team Inclusive Prom was initially made up of member of Acadiana Queer Collective but has since grown to include; The Family Tree/Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention, PFLAG Lafayette, Safe Havynn, and We Demand More. We have met twice so far to begin planning Inclusive Prom and will be meeting with a potential host for the event today. We haven’t spent any money yet and instead are inquiring with vendors and potential sponsors who can offer us in-kind donations to supplement the budget we’ve already created. We will be offering each participant at prom a Swag Bag full of goodies and resources from around the community. We also hope to have a raffle that offers each participant the opportunity to win awesome prizes. Currently, across social media platforms we are asking the community to vote on a theme for prom–currently it’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ vs. “The 4 Elements” and “Retro” vs, “Over the Rainbow” in a head-to-head match. We will be sharing the winners of this match soon so that voting for the final theme can happen.

Thank you Community!

Team inclusive Prom

Healthy Acadiana Seed Library Update #1

Healthy Acadiana Seed Library Update #1

Dear Community,

The Seed Library is growing! We are still in awe of the magic that the 24 Hr. Citizen Project gave to us. Between our conversations with the experts, the community support, and the other amazing teams we are so excited to see what’s to come for all of us.

Since receiving the funding we’ve held various meetings to keep planning and moving forward. Most notably:

1. Took photos with the BIG Check with our committee and library staff to gain excitement.

2. Branding discussions

3. Formation of an expert Advisory Council

4. Picked out a cabinet to house the seeds.

5. Figured out processes for “checking out” the seeds.

6. Thanked the amazing backers! In the new year (how is it 2023, already?) we will begin to use the funding we so generously received from the backers at the 24HCP.

We can’t wait to update you again in February because by then we will have hopefully purchased the cabinet, seeds, and have a good understanding of where we need help and be deep in the planning of the launch in March. Our team would like to thank the 24HCP, the amazing backers and you for the support we received during the event and ongoing. We look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months.

Healthy Wishes,

Marissa Winters & the Healthy Acadiana Team

Sensory Safe Spaces  Update #1

Sensory Safe Spaces Update #1

Dear the (coolest, funkiest and most supportive) community members,

First of all: THANK YOU. Thank you all: the backers, our team, the other teams, the 24 hour citizen/civicside team, YOU, to those you’ve told, et al. We are so grateful. We learned and will continue to learn from those that inspire us most, our community. For us to have the support and now some financial backing from our community means that many individuals will now be able to participate more readily at events in our community. Whatever capacity they/you want. We all deserve to have that opportunity, that’s what true inclusion looks like. We truly believe that this is just the start. THANK YOU!

In case you were not aware, as of November 5, our project was chosen to be funded! We had already created some relationships with many organizations and individuals in the community prior to our launch, but since then we have created quite a buzz and we are taking it in positive strides! While it is exciting, it’s a bit overwhelming too…nothing we can’t do together right?. We are in talks with the city of Youngsville to establish a Sensory Safe Space at their Mardi Gras Parade. They have just moved into their new offices, so we should hear back prior to/around the first of the year. We have a connection already for a UL-Lafayette football game, Festival International and some other options of events. Our goal is to do 3-4 large scale events in 2023. In 2024, our goal is to increase that by 1-2 and do 1-2 smaller scale events, as well as provide (many) events with our “sensory bags”.

Our next steps include continuing to form meaningful relationships in our community about our goal for inclusion, awaiting the funds which will allow us to thoughtfully order the equipment we need to make this mobile space happen! We are aiming for a Mardi Gras festival in 2023, but also are leaving room for that possibly being too early in the process.For those that may have some questions such as: how does this space differ from a VIP area? How long can you stay in this space? Why aren’t you doing this space at all events? What is The Beluga Project? Answers will come, please email or contact us on The Beluga Project social media pages.

Dear Community, you are appreciated. Stay tuned!

Freetown Sound Lab Update #1

Freetown Sound Lab Update #1

Dear Community, 

It’s The Freetown Sound Lab!! We’re still riding high from the 24 Hr Citizen event and enjoyed working alongside some pretty amazing folks…all of whose stories we plan to capture! We were awarded our request to create a digital sound lab in Freetown that will give our citizens a chance to be heard. We are in the process of planning the studio build which is scheduled to begin within the first quarter of next year. We held a neighborhood Harvest event on November 19th at Maison Creole de Freetown and secured a few of our first story prospects. Once the Holiday season is over, it’s go time! Can’t wait to share the lives, happenings, and people that make Acadiana special. Stay tuned!!

-Team Freetown Sound Lab

GPS Project Update #1

GPS Project Update #1

Dear Community,

On November 14, 2022, just two weeks after 24HCP, The U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona released this statement, “It’s time we bridge the divide between our K-12 systems and our college, career, and industry preparation programs, which leave too many students behind and perpetuate inequities in our most diverse, underserved, and rural communities.“

His Dear Colleague Letter goes on to reiterate the importance of implementing programs like The GPS Project that will provide academic coaching to help students navigate the complicated process of career discovery to enrollment into a postsecondary school or workforce program. 

As a result of 24HCP and our community, The GPS Team is building partnerships and acquiring resources to help students in our community take intentional steps towards entering postsecondary schools or workforce programs immediately after high school.

This month, we will meet with Noah Brandon, President of Unitech Training Academy to discuss scholarship eligibility and guidelines for Northside High School seniors. We have also met with The Master’s Guild of Acadiana and learned how students can gain skills-based training to begin a career in construction even while in high school. And we talked to a Lafayette Parish School Board member to inform them of the initiative of our national Department of Education to increase the number of students transitioning to postsecondary schools and workforce programs. Our team is discovering that a major component of The GPS Project is making our schools and community aware of traditional and nontraditional postsecondary opportunities that are available in our community.

The GPS Team has completed the volunteer form and background check at LPSS to begin academic coaching with Northside High School JAG students starting in January 2023! 

Our team would like to thank 24HCP, Backers, and our community for the overwhelming “cheering on” and support we have already received. Many open doors will happen for our students because of your concern and generosity.

Many thanks,

Karen Dugas & The GPS Team

Lemonade Stand Final Update

Lemonade Stand Final Update

Jackie Unit – Lemonade Stand

  • 12 participants
  • Funds raised: $706.40 (353 cups of lemonade)
  • Charity of choice: The Outreach Center of Lafayette (Contact-Director, Bruce Gilcrease)

75% to The Outreach Center of Lafayette – $529.80

25% to kids for group celebration – $176.60

Each Club has identified youth to help with sales, but whom have also been part of the planning process as

Granberry Unit – Lemonade Stand

  • 10 participants
  • Funds raised: $356 (178 cups of lemonade)
  • Charity of choice: United Way of Acadiana (Contact-Stephanie Poole)

75% to United Way of Acadiana – $267.00

25% to kids for group celebration – $89.00

Kirk Taylor with Chase Bank met with both Jackie and Granberry Unit participants and spoke to them about planning and marketing the event.  We discussed strategies and plans of how to make the event successful. Each week leading up to the event Directors met with participants to One of our premier programs at the Boys & Girls Club is weekly planning and brainstorming sessions focusing on leadership, finances, and the impact of small businesses on their local communities. Participants were continuously challenged create, build, market and execute the plans developed to strive to reach the goal they set for total cups if lemonade sold. In addition, the groups of participants were guided to research various local charities and their missions to determine the charity they would choose to donate most of the proceeds to.

Some participants also took part in the Career Launch program which is one of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s job-readiness and career preparation program. It provides fun and interactive activities for youth ages 13-18 to explore a broad range of career areas, match their interest to career clusters and identify the skills and education needed for their chosen career path/ Career Launch is designed to support youth in preparing for their first job, internships, summer employment and so much more. This was a great addition to our project hence if provide an insight to participants regarding potential careers in the marketing, sales, entrepreneurship sectors. It was truly an exciting and informative opportunity and experience for our youth.