Grant County Synergy 2012

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Synergy comes from the Greek word synergia συνεργία from synergos, συνεργός, meaning “working together.” The term is often used in science where individual things come together & create something new. A great example is the combination of hydrogen & oxygen–2 molecules of hydrogen together with 1 molucule of oxygen create water. When synergy is used in regard to organizations, it means that when the individuals work together toward a common goal they can achieve far more than going their separate ways. You can see this effect in a good brain-storming session. One person has an idea that’s good; the others tweak & refine until the idea is great.

Synergy in Grant County started Grant County with an initiative by Mayor Wayne Seybold in 2004. The goal was to bring people in Marion & the county together to evaluate our community’s strengths and weaknesses, celebrate growth and then to engage in a particular issue. The first Synergy, in response to the closing of several factories & subsequent loss of jobs, focussed on economic development. The outcome has been a solid economic development plan. In fact, Marion has received several awards for development.

The second Synergy, in 2008, took aim at education and leadership. Work is ongoing but the fruits of that session are starting to be visible to the community.

Now, four years later, another Synergy is scheduled for Friday, August 3. Building on the Olympic Summer Games, the theme is
People are GOLD: Giving Opportunities, Living Dreams

The topic of conversation will be empowerment: helping our community move from a mindset of poverty to one of empowerment.

Poverty. There are a couple of main categories of poverty; generational & situational. Generational poverty occurs when a family lives in poverty for several generations. It becomes the norm for those people & is actually a safe place for those who grow up in generational poverty. Situational poverty is when a person or family experiences a financial catastrophe through job loss or devastating illness. There will be a workshop at Synergy 2012 to help explain how people manouver through poverty & what keeps some people in poverty for generations.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/bystate/StateLanding.aspx?state=IN#, released statistics yesterday regarding children under the age of 18 who live in poverty. This report is broken out by state and by county. Information about Grant County was published in the Chronicle Tribune today, July 27, 2012. In case you missed it, Grant County didn’t fare well according the 2010 Census. And, here is how bad it is for our community: Grant County has the 4th highest rate of poverty for children under the age of 18 in Indiana; 29.7% of children in Grant County live in poverty.

So, what does that mean for our community? What happens when a child lives in poverty? What are the ramifications for the child, for the community, for you? You can look here, http://www.apa.org/pi/families/poverty.aspx# for further information about the effects on children living in poverty. You can also attend Synergy 2012 on Friday, August 3. Click here for further information: http://gcsynergy.com/

Together we can make a difference for Marion & Grant County.