Today marks four years of serving with the Edgewater community and supporting our local schools. On March 13, 2013 our board signed the incorporation documents to launch our nonprofit. The documents were signed at a space just two doors down from our current office which was formerly known as Edgewater Coffee Company, now Coda Coffee.
Our early efforts were focused on supporting Edgewater schools and our website early on was supportedgewaterschools.org. Our first collaborative event was the Edgewater Art Walk to draw attention to the talents of students in the Edgewater schools.
In the beginning, we thought the way to support our schools was to create new programming around tutoring, youth leadership and parent classes. We launched the Reading Buddies program at Lumberg Elementary and the Saint Tank program at Jefferson High School.
We soon learned that new programs take a lot of energy and overlapped with existing programs causing conflict. At the JVA Executive Director Academy we stumbled on the idea of collective impact and the light bulb went off.
Instead of creating our own programs, we would move into a behind the scenes role resourcing and connecting existing programming. We could be far more effective building a platform for connection and communication than if we were competing with other programs and organizations. The Jefferson Success Pathway grew out of this realization.
In the last four years Edgewater has changed in some pretty major ways. Housing prices and rents have risen quickly, bringing a new generation to our city. Businesses have come and gone. Even our school district had a rough four years and fell victim to divisive political battles. In four years we worked with three different school superintendents and are gearing up for working with yet another. Our mission of cultivating partnerships to foster thriving Edgewater families, schools and community hasn’t changed though.
As we look to the next four years, we are still focused on supporting our local schools through the Jefferson Success Pathway and connecting our thriving community to the dream of thriving schools. Through the Edgewater Community Festival, we hope to connect the newer generations moving into Edgewater to the history, stories and people that make our city great.
We continue to dream of a community where ALL have the chance to thrive. Thank you for continuing to journey with us on this exciting adventure!