What community goals did we meet last year, and what will we be working on in 2019?
The turning of the calendar from the old year to a new is the perfect time to reflect on where we are in our personal lives, and it’s a great time to look back on what we’ve accomplished as an organization as well.
There’s always so much more work to be done, but we’re truly amazed and grateful that we have truly done some incredible things this year! It’s all through the hard work and dedication of our neighbors, staff members, volunteers, and partners.
In our main program areas, these are some of the goals we fulfilled in 2018:
- Started an Upward Soccer League in collaboration with St. Clements Church and School
- Incorporated reading and computer coding into our after-school programming
- Multiplied the food co-op services to include household goods and toiletries
- Fully opened and expanded services with Esperanza Nueva, our immigration legal services center
- Solidified a plan for a neighborhood housing initiative aimed at educating and moving residents into home ownership
- Formed a community advisory board to help direct the vision for programming and the neighborhood
- Expanded the Border Fellows Program to include six Border Fellows in fall 2018
- Expanded youth leadership to include four college student leaders, two high school student leaders, and two middle school student leaders in fall 2018
How did we get there?
One thing that got us started off on the right foot was the strategic planning session that you we invested in late in 2017. That helped us set our priorities and give focus in each program area for the next year. We also formed focus groups for some of the key areas, such as a Housing Task Force to identify a plan for home ownership and the Community Advisory Board to generate and implement ideas for all program services.
In 2018, we really upped our commitment to collaboration. For instance, our partnership with St. Clements Church and St. Clements School to form Upward Soccer benefited everyone. We also continued to invest in young people, resulting in a record number of youth from our community leading in different areas.
Hitting the highlights — What did we love about this year?
- Hitting our long-time goal of having six Border Fellows
- Seeing so many smiling kids’ faces from all over town as they participated in the Upward Soccer League
- Watching food co-op members take leadership on so many issues — from hundreds of hours of organizing for fundraisers to selling tamales to developing their own micro-loan system
- Welcoming so many young adults from the community who grew up in our youth programs and are returning as leaders
- Hosting our initial private housing fundraiser, which was a great success, bringing our total to almost $50K dedicated to the housing initiative
There are so many stories we could tell of incredible successes and significant breakthroughs, many of them hard-earned. Here are a few of our favorite stories from this year:
- A food co-op member approached the hotel that employs her to donate sheets, pillow cases, and towels to the temporary shelters for refugees after she witnessed the need through her middle school student volunteering at the shelter.
- The food co-op members decided they would take a solution to their vulnerability into their own hands by creating an emergency micro-loan fund by themselves, for themselves.
- Many neighborhood parents and food co-op members volunteered hundreds of hours to organize a Ciudad Nueva fundraiser.
- We received the highest amount of donations for any nonprofit in El Paso on El Paso Giving Day. Thank you to our many generous supporters!
- Groups from around the country visited El Paso to try to better understand the complexities along the border.
What’s up in 2019?
As we look ahead, we are so excited about continuing to grow in many areas, including in building leadership in the community around us, working together as partners to meet needs, and solving community problems. We look forward to moving ahead on the home-ownership initiative by raising funds for transitional living apartments and providing a path toward home ownership.
We also want to grow in our programs supporting teenagers and young adults in their financial management decisions and facilitating creative entrepreneurial activity in the neighborhood.
We do have challenges from the past year that need attention, such as some physical plant issues — mostly heating in winter and cooling in summer. There are always needs in the maintaining and upgrading of our facilities!
We also want to fine-tune our programming to the needs of our youth, especially our high schoolers, and adapt and grow where necessary to stay relevant to their needs. Finally, we are always looking for volunteer leaders in areas such as fundraising, board committee leadership, and other areas.
Thank you again for all the many ways you have partnered with us to reach our community goals. We look forward to all the things we will accomplish together in 2019!
Ciudad Nueva is community-based nonprofit that exists to advance the renewal and development of central El Paso’s Rio Grande neighborhood through the empowerment and transformation of its residents. Please join us this year! Call us today at 915-521-2951 or contact us online.