On March 6, 2018, The Keene Family YMCA will be hosting an event that will give free advocacy training for those who are interested. Advocacy experts from New Futures Kids Count and N.H. Children’s Trust will be conducting the training. Former New Hampshire Senator Molly Kelly will also be speaking.

Colton McCracken / Senior Photographer

Colton McCracken / Senior Photographer

According to new-futures.org/kidscount, New Futures Kids Count “undertakes data projects to ensure that New Hampshire-based data is collected and put to use for Granite State children and families.” New Futures Kids Count uses the data found to advocate for strong policies that will benefit the children of New Hampshire.

N.H. Children’s Trust is an organization that also advocates for children. According to the organization’s “About Us” page, it ensures “safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments for children by educating, advocating, and collaborating.”

This training isn’t the first to come to the YMCA. Development and Community Impact Director Marj Droppa said, in September of 2017, the YMCA offered its first advocacy training as part of a community impact event series that was put on.

“We did what we call an advocacy 101 training,” Droppa said. “Part of the mission of the [YMCA] is to help to develop a civic engagement and advocacy skills in the lives of the people who live in our community… It’s part of our work to advocate to help make the lives of our community’s residents better.”

Droppa said the training that will be taking place on March 6 will be a “level two” type of training, as it dives into a deeper set of skills.

Droppa began working at the YMCA in 2010 as a group fitness instructor. By 2015 she became a board member, but it wasn’t until May of 2017 that she became the development and community impact director.

Working for an organization whose mission values mirror her own is something that Droppa said is very important.

“There’s so many ways the [YMCA] works to strengthen the Monadnock region and help the people who live here and that really resonates with me because I have a passion for doing that exact thing,” Droppa said.

Droppa also said one thing that is wanted at the YMCA is the voice of college students.

“We really want that voice at the [YMCA] and at this event because we think it is so important to have your voice embraced,” Droppa said. One way the YMCA represents the voices of college students is through their interns.

Droppa said the YMCA has Keene State College interns in their Healthy Lifestyles department, Marketing department and Development and Community Impact department.

KSC seniors and communication majors Taylor Handy and Sarah Hart both work with Droppa in the Community Impact Department.

Handy and Hart said they are promoting, advertising and communicating about the advocacy event.

“We’ve emailed legislators, faculty, staff, student organizations some other local nonprofits, and schools districts in the area, so basically just trying to get the word out about this event and how important it is and just trying to see how many people that we can get there,” Handy said.

Hart added, “And really we’re just trying to get Keene State [students] to come to the event because our supervisor really wants us to and we think it’s such a great idea too… it’s really like about bringing the community together.”

Hart said it is also an important event because it discusses life skills that KSC students, as future employees, are going to be able to use.

Handy then said, “We’re going to be graduating soon. We are going to have to advocate ourselves with jobs raises, with apartments and cars and everything like that so that’s just a small idea of it, but you’re always going to be advocating for yourself so this is a really great tool.”

This event will be held from 6-8 p.m.. For more information, visit keeneymca.org.

Grace Pecci can be contacted at gpecci@kscequinox.com

Share and Enjoy !