The next phase

Someone reminded me recently that there are thinkers and doers in this world.  I have identified with both categories during different parts of my life, but have recently grown tired of the former and am ready to focus on the latter.

My goal: to build connections in my region and increase the level of collaboration therefore sparking positive change in my community.  I hope a year from now I can say that goal has been accomplished.  For now, I welcome you to follow my experiences launching New Leaf Initiative 2.0 and the musings that are generated along the way.

Presenting the top 4 reasons for the creation of  Drum roll please…

1) Telling the New Leaf story

My business partner, Eric, and I have recognized the need to document our joys, triumphs, trials, and tribulations from the start.  We want to be able to look back and have something to draw from to tell our story.

2) Catching up the New Leaf community

We want all of you New Leaf supporters out there to know what’s going on and be able to spread the word to a larger community.

3) Sharing with my friends and family

I’ve realized most of the people in my life have absolutely no idea what I am doing, so here’s to clarity!

4) Helping out the one and only Pearl Fulton

Mom, I appreciate your diligent note taking every time I talk about what I’m doing.  However, now your hand and mind can rest easy knowing that all the information you need will be right here.

New Leaf Initiative.  If you told me the first day I stepped into that office the fall of my junior year that I would still be involved with the organization two years later I would have laughed in your face.  My plan was to expand on my Psychology degree and go to grad school for counseling, not stay in State College and be responsible for the next phase of New Leaf.  But in reality, New Leaf ended up changing the course of my life by providing an outlet for me to come alive, for me to focus on my passions: making connections and facilitating conversations that matter.

Now I am lucky enough to say that I will be doing what I love every day.

So what do we have rolled up our sleeves? Creating a new office to host and animate a community hub for collaboration, creativity, and co-creation that nurtures transformational ideas from conception to implementation.  New Leaf will be the innovation driver in the Centre region and beyond.  We want what we create here to be a framework for local communities similar to ours all around the world.  Recognizing the potential for a space like this has been apparent for a long time, and now we can finally make it happen.

Although the location can not be publicly announced yet, I will say that it is a pretty sweet spot.  We have been working on schematic design options with our architect and every new configuration gets me more and more excited.  I am now looking forward to the day we can officially enter the space and start renovating.

The funding is there, the momentum is there, Eric and I are ready to hit the ground running and get this baby launched.  All of the pieces we need are quickly coming together to form the puzzle we call New Leaf.  I must say it’s definitely been one of those 5,000 piece-we’re not going to do this in one sitting-you need to have a lot of patience and dedication to complete this thing-puzzles, which makes plugging that last piece in all the more rewarding.

What does a community hub mean to you?  What do you think one would look like in downtown State College?

We need your feedback, we need your support.  I thrive on connecting with people and engaging in conversations.  Contact me with questions, ideas, and anecdotes from a different perspective because that insight will help me more than you know.  Cheers!

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