Waco groups to come together Wednesday to make impact

By Madi Miller

After ten years of preparation, Prosper Waco will host their inaugural event from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Waco Convention Center in an effort to introduce themselves to the Waco community.

Prosper Waco is a collective impact initiative, where multiple groups come together for the sake of one cause, that has been in the works for almost a decade, geared towards the improvement of the education, health and financial security of the Waco.

“Collective impact is a collaborative approach across multiple sectors of the community to align resources and create progress towards a common agenda,” said Prosper Waco team member Kim Kazanas.

The initiative consists of eight board members who are considered community leaders, past and present, including Mayor Malcolm Duncan and former mayor Virginia DuPuy, according to the website.

“You don’t have to be a certain age or have so much experience in your field in order to be an active and engaged community member,” said Woodville senior Kristyn Miller, student body external vice president. “We as college students right now can be fully engaged and fully supportive of community efforts and improvements.”

Prosper Waco has capped the registration on the inaugural event with around 500 community members signed up to attend.

“We are kind of kicking off our organization at that event,” Kazanas said. “In two general sessions we will talk about the concepts of collective impact and what that means for Waco.”

During the first half of the event, the group will learn all about what the collective impact initiative is. In the second half of the event, the group of 500 will break into three groups, each relating to the different impact areas for open sessions to discuss goals and expectations for the future of Waco.

“Our structure is such that we define goals for where our community needs to be,” Kazanas said.

In the groups, participants will work on goals for Waco for where the community members want to see the city improve in the future, Kazanas said.

In terms of accomplishing each goal, Prosper Waco will look to organizations for help in achieving their goals.

“We would begin to consider even funding some of those programs to support those goals,” Kazanas said. “We are kind of creating a strategic plan for Waco.”

Baylor students can get involved with this initiative by volunteering their time in seeing the initiative projects through.

“Baylor students should want to see Waco prosper,” Miller said. “For four years, this place is our home and for four years we should care for it in the most thorough and compassionate way possible.”

While this is not a student government-led initiative, Miller said she wants students to get involved and do what they can to help.