Planning to attend the 2014 Building Michigan Communities Conference? Join Lynn Jackson (Bridges Out of Poverty Engagement Manager) and me at our exhibit space at the conference! The event, held April 28th through April 30th, 2014 at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Michigan, presents a great opportunity for you to share information and network.

Per the event website, the conference addresses topics such as the creation and preservation of housing, the provision of services to the homeless, and the revitalization of neighborhoods, all of which are intended to make Michigan’s communities better places to live and work.

As a citizen of Michigan who is concerned about the poverty level of our state, I am pleased to have been chosen as a presenter at this upcoming event. I plan to use the opportunity to address the Bridges model, illustrating how it is being used within my agency to improve the lives of individuals, institutions and the community. In addition to speaking, I will be part of a four-person panel, consisting of individuals from agencies modeling Community Action.

This year’s conference marks the celebration of fiftyyears of Community Action movement!

The Michigan Community Action Agency is the State of Michigan’s association of twenty-nine Community Action Agencies across Michigan. MCAAs help low-income individuals and families achieve higher levels of economic self-sufficiency and stability. The Mission of MCAAA is to serve member agencies and strengthen their capacity to alleviate the causes and circumstances of poverty.

In regard to my background, I am currently employed with the Monroe County Opportunity Program (MCOP), serving as the coordinator and certified trainer for the Bridges Out of Poverty program.  Through this program, I work with various community action agencies to provide resources to address the needs of clients. Additionally, to provide resources for issues such as homelessness and substance abuse, I have been able to network and develop strong relationships in the community. I am also a national consultant with aha! Process, whose mission is to positively impact the education and lives of individuals in poverty around the world. Given my usage of Bridges, I certainly see this played out each day in my professional life.

My presentation and our exhibit space will give us the opportunity to expand our work with Bridges Out Of Poverty across the state of Michigan. I encourage you to look at the website – – to see if attending the conference would be beneficial for the work that you do.