The Collaboration Council’s Community of Engagement highlights and supports the strengths of Montgomery County residents, nonprofits, grassroots organizations, and other stakeholders.
Community of Engagement activities include community forums, listening sessions, community-led trainings for nonprofits, and data collection for community advocacy. The Community of Engagement is a community-driven vehicle to advocate for change, providing pathways for residents to actualize their vision of a healthy, aligned, and affirming community.
Conversations at the Intersection
Our 2022-2023 community conversation series kicked off on December 14, 2022, with Dr. Rodney Glasgow of the Glasgow Group, who led an interactive workshop and conversation around identity development, implicit bias, and the lived experiences of our social selves. This conversation also focused on how our identities intersect with each other and shape how we act, react, and interact in the world. Participants explored what we can do to combat our biases, face our prejudices, and promote inclusion.
On January 30, 2023, the series continued with a community conversation at the intersection of the issues of anti-semitism and anti-Black racism in our communities. Our panel featured Howard Feinstein, civil rights attorney and citizen-advocate; Dira Treadvance, Chief of Children Youth and Family Services, Montgomery County’s DHHS; and Andrew Friedson, Montgomery County Council Vice President.
On February 21, 2023, we welcomed back Dr. Rodney Glasgow, who facilitated an interactive workshop and conversation around how identity, intersectionality, and implicit bias show up in our lived experiences.
Advancing Youth Development
Advancing Youth Development (AYD) Training is an intensive four-day professional development opportunity for community youth workers who work directly with youth ages 10 to 24 in school and community settings in Montgomery County. AYD Training gives participants the necessary tools and skills to understand youth culture. Participants learn how to help youth navigate and use resources, identify their own strengths, and define and achieve their goals.
In September 2022, we held the first in-person AYD Training since we switched to virtual sessions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was especially exciting and rewarding to bring people together to share and learn. The most recent in-person training was held January 17-20, 2023.
Participants in the September 2022 AYD Training reflect on what the training meant to them
Youth Action Board
The Youth Action Board (YAB) is a collaborative entity supported by Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (Services to End and Prevent Homelessness), the Collaboration Council, Montgomery County Interagency Commission on Homelessness, and the MoCo Reconnect Youth Drop-In Center and its partners.
The YAB consists of community members ages 17 to 24 who have a desire to impact the way their peers and future generations of young people experience homelessness in Montgomery County. These youth are viewed as experts who help hold government and nonprofits accountable for prioritizing the needs and wants of young people.
The YAB played a central role in developing and designing the MoCo ReConnect Youth Drop-in Center, which opened in June 2022. The Drop-in Center is a unique approach in Montgomery County as the only dedicated youth space specifically centering the needs of youth ages 16-24, particularly those impacted by housing insecurity and seeking alternative opportunities to traditional education pathways.
To learn more, visit the MoCo ReConnect program page.
Mentoring studies have proven the importance of quality mentoring relationships for young people. Having access to a mentor increases the likelihood that young people will enroll in college, volunteer with community organizations, and hold professional leadership positions. Research has also shown that mentoring programs that utilize best practices have a greater impact on the lives of young people compared with programs that don’t. In 2016, the Collaboration Council explored the status of mentoring in Montgomery County by commissioning a study on the state of mentoring.