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Milestones

Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School Day of Service, February 2011
To help develop a youth-oriented event requested by community representatives, a focus group was held at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, a Mosby community school which receives the services of Communities in Schools, a nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the connection of needed community resources with schools to help young people successfully learn, stay in school and prepare for life. The resulting after-school event included an inspirational talk and demonstration by Johnny Newman, a former NBA basketball star, a demonstration and discussion about self-esteem by a local beautician, discussion of healthy eating habits by the TEENS (Teaching, Encouragement, Exercise, Nutrition, and Support) program, and games focusing on the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Holiday Helping Hands, December 2009
A Holiday Helping Hands program was created to provide gifts for the families of 70-80 children. Gift requests from community members were collected and "helping hand" gift-givers were assigned. Program participants and Mosby community residents gathered at the Mosby Community Center to distribute the gifts and enjoy a holiday meal together.

Community Day, September 2009
This annual Community Day is coordinated with assistance from the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Members of the collaborative attended and assisted with events which included a survey on healthy communities. With the help of VCU Master of Public Health student volunteers, the survey was distributed and completed by nearly 90 attendees.

Community Visioning Session, June 2009
An evening visioning session and dinner was held to solicit community ideas about factors that make a healthy community. A full group session was followed by breakout groups to discuss particular areas, followed by reconvening the group to review the break-out discussion. Input was collected and summarized, then shared at a meeting of the collaborative. Approximately 20 community members and 10 collaborative partners attended this session.

Community Health Fair, April 2009
Working with the Richmond Police Department and local health-focused organizations, a Community Health Fair provided HIV screening, blood pressure checks, child ID registration (with the local sheriff’s department), exercise programs and information on health resources in the area. VCU Master of Public Health students operated a fruit-tasting and hand-washing booth for children. Approximately 100 community members attended this event.

Mosby Leadership Program
During initial discussions with the residents of Mosby about creating a model for a long-term community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership, the residents requested leadership training to maximize their effective participation in such an effort As a result of this request, the Center developed and piloted a leadership program with 14 residents living in Mosby. The program was designed to develop specific skills and to introduce the residents to health disparities. To maximize the use of resources, the leadership program was combined with a grant from VCU’s Division of Community Engagement aimed at building community capacity. The first wave of the leadership program ran for 10-weeks in the Mosby community, from September 2012 to January 2013; the second wave completed in August 2013. The program combines health disparities education with leadership skill development. Weekly session topics were based on what residents indicated would be most beneficial, including communicating for change and computer skills. Community graduates report improved confidence and skills to actively participate in community-based engagement opportunities.

Read about our 2013 Graduates: