Neighborhood leadership is the most important ingredient to lasting neighborhood change, and this change is even more impactful when multiple leaders work together to accomplish a common goal.
Fanny Rodriguez, a long time Park Ave neighbor and leader, was a member of inCOMMON’s inaugural Local Leader School class (2019). She gained so much from the class that she recruited her friend, and Park Ave business owner, Odila to register for the next session.
The final assignment of Local Leader School is capstone project, where participants take what they’ve learned in the class and plan a neighborhood improvement project. Odilia’s idea was to start a neighborhood fitness class. Gyms can be expensive, so Odilia was excited about finding a way to make fitness affordable for her neighbors. She decided she could offer her business space for classes, if she and Fanny could find an instructor.
Enter Xochitl. Xochitl lives just down the street from Odila’s business and frequents the store. She is also friends with Fanny and happens to be passionate about fitness. Fanny reached out to Xochitl and she agreed to run the fitness classes four days a week. Local Park Ave businesses have since caught the vision for this class and financially contribute to help keep the class free.
Thanks to the leadership of these three women, neighborhood residents now have a nearby and accessible space to exercise and build relationships with other neighbors. inCOMMON’s mission is to “unite and strengthen” neighborhoods, and these three leaders have come together to quite literally bring the “strength” part of this mission to life!