In photo - From left, Pheasant run residents Iman Cardwell, Desiree Settle, and Maya Gibson.
Leadership in Homeport’s 24 rental communities is getting younger. Among 50 individuals who chose to participate in the third annual All-Homeport Community Leadership Institute were three young women ages 12, 13 and 15.
“You can get somewhere in life by being like the people here,” explained Desiree Settle, 13, a student at Lakeview Junior High School and member of Pheasant Run Girls Circle. Desiree was joined by two other Pheasant Run (Reynoldsburg) friends, Iman Cardwell, 12, also of Lakeview Junior, and Maya Gibson, 15, a Pickerington High School North student.
Homeport runs the Leadership events to create relationships and build communities. Leaders can help promote and participate in various events sponsored by Homeport within the rental development communities, from community garden programs to food drives to backpack distributions.
They also serve as a network to encourage residents to sign up for financial education courses provided for free by Homeport, and educate their neighbors about services and programs of added value and need, from Kindergarten readiness assessments to emergency utility payments.
Layden Hale, senior housing counselor for Homeport, reminded the audience of the value they bring to the process, noting the free financial service counseling would cost $150-$500 if provided by other organizations or individuals.
“We care. We Share. We bring it. That’s what it is all about. You guys are the leaders in the community and are going to make my job easier (by promoting services available through Homeport),” Hale said at the program held Sept. 18 at Homeport headquarters, 562 E. Main Street in Columbus.
Participants were saluted by Homeport President/CEO Amy Klaben and Homeport Board members.
“You are resident leaders because you choose to be here,” Klaben said. Klaben took special time to recognize the three young women from Pheasant Run for what she called a “micro-enterprise.” Besides learning more about Homeport, they sold silk, felt and checkered fabric hair ribbons. For each ribbon purchased, one is donated to girls in a homeless shelter.
James Settle, Desiree’s father, chose to participate as a leader of his Pheasant Run community, but also acknowledged it was exciting to participate “as part of developing a healthy relationship” with his children.
Joining him at the Leadership Institute event were his wife, Sharrion, Desiree, and three other of his children, Daijah, James and Shayla.