CentreWorks holds RESILIENCE Bootcamp

BY TANNER RAY

News release

On Aug. 20, 20 first-year students arrived at Centre College with open minds ready to engage with the Danville community a mere hour after they moved in. For the five days preceding their orientation, these students participated in the CentreWorks RESILIENCE Bootcamp.

Despite the brevity of the camp, the 20 eager students equipped themselves with valuable, diverse skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. RESILIENCE Bootcamp strives to teach incoming Centre students a series of transformational thought processes with the goal to unite Centre’s campus with every corner of the Boyle County community. The Entrepreneurial Mindset in collaboration with the Human-Centred Approach to Innovation serves as the foundation for the CentreWorks’ mission.

These methodologies inform how the organization interacts with all aspects of the Danville community and forms the foundation for Bootcamp curriculum. CentreWorks teaches Bootcamp students these important life lessons, empowering them to apply the frameworks to a community challenge. This year, RESILIENCE Bootcamp students spent their five days together learning how they might contribute to social change toward a more inclusive Danville community.

CentreWorks stresses that listening with the intention to understand and practicing empathy at every turn lays the path for a more welcoming and diverse community. At Bootcamp, both camp participants and interns had the privilege to interact with a diverse array of community guides and residents. Kimberly Valasco, Melinda Weathers, and Phoenix Staten all shared valuable insights about their personal journeys within their individual communities. Through a series of interviews followed by Q&A sessions, students learned about and empathized with members of Danville’s Latinx, Black and Centre College student populations, respectively. CentreWorks uses these empathy-based inter-communal dialogue sessions to fuel their work towards a more inclusive and enriching community for all Danville residents.

Students certainly did not go hungry while interacting with some of Danville’s most influential community guides, as they enjoyed tasty dishes prepared by all local entrepreneurs throughout Bootcamp. They relished the signature flavors of small businesses like Bluegrass Pizza & Pub, Kasey’s Sweet Creations, Danville Poke and Sushi, Black Soil, Southern Plate Catering, Danielle’s Driveaway Cafe, Big City Pizza, Harvey’s and The Hub. While the food was delicious, the stories behind the businesses were just as memorable. For every meal the participants savored, they learned how the entrepreneur built their business and product. Ultimately, these meals served as an opportunity for discussion about the real-world use of the Entrepreneurial Mindset. The combination of community involvement and culinary enjoyment came to fruition on Sunday night, when members of Danville’s Latinx community joined the Bootcamp participants for dinner. Students established valuable connections with these Danville residents, inspiring a great appetite to bridge the gap between campus and community through the simple joys of games, good food, and conversation.

Ultimately, CentreWork’s RESILIENCE Bootcamp was an incredible experience that united Centre students with Danville community leaders to begin the journey to fuse our town together. Students who participated in last years’ camp have continued their involvement within the larger Danville community.

One example is Ionut Moga, who is now a RCorps member at CentreWorks.

“CentreWorks is definitely a community where I grew since I learned the ways I can interact with Community members and how to work efficiently as a team with a diverse group of people,” Moga said.

This year’s CentreWorks RESILIENCE Bootcamp was a profound demonstration that using empathy truly does have the power to bring about real change. For anyone interested in CentreWorks, contact either Anthony or Andrea Margida at anthony@centreworks.org and andrea@centreworks.org; or visit our website at www.centreworks.org.