This month, our spotlight Summit attendees are Shavonn Richardson and her 16-year-old son, Mekai. The mother-son duo from Milton, Ga. were in attendance at our June 2 Transform Westside Summit.
Read below to find out why Shavonn is a frequent attendee, why she felt it important to share the Summit experience with her son, and, as always, their hope for the Westside.
Was this your first Transform Westside Summit? If not, how many have you attended? And what prompted your attendance? I’ve been attending the Westside Summit for a few months now. I am always in awe of the information that is shared, the connections that are made and the impact the Fund has in the community.
What is your affiliation with the community? I am founder and principal grant writer at Think and Ink Grant Consulting™. I am also Co-Founder of Blue Flowers Org, a nonprofit organization empowering women and the men in their lives against prostate cancer. I attend to support and advance the work going on in the Westside in any way I can.
Would you encourage others to attend? If so, why? Absolutely! Not only is it a great way to learn more about the role we all play in enhancing the community, but the Westside Future Fund has done a great job of engaging residents, leaders in the nonprofit and businesses in solving problems and creating solutions.
You attended with your son. Why did you feel it was important for him to join you? My son, Mekai is 16 years old and a rising Junior at Cambridge High School. Our goal as parents has always been keep him engaged in community involvement and provide opportunities to network, ask questions and explore his curiousity.
I was especially excited about this last summit, the “State of the Westside Future Fund” which provided an overview of the impact the Westside Future Fund has in the community. I thought it would be a great opportunity for Mekai to attend to get up to speed on all the awesome work that Westside Future Fund is doing in the community. He is usually in school when I attend these events. I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity while he is out for the summer.
What was your impression of the meeting? Biggest takeaway? Mekai left informed, inspired and transformed. He wants to be an architect. He was amazed at the process of maintaining the historical significance of the Westside while incorporating new construction of expanding the community- a sort of a mix of new and old.
I thank the Westside Fund Summit for providing an environment in which my son felt comfortable to introduce himself and ask questions. The environment was so nurturing that he had an opportunity to connect with attendees one-on-one post Summit and they all were supportive in his learning process. He met many friends that will undoubtedly positively impact his life.
What is your hope for the Westside? My hope is that the Westside continues to execute its mission with continued and accelerating support. It will be a joy to see the impact the Westside Future Fund will have in changing lives and changing the Westside Community for the better.