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Community Spotlight: Brian Beard

A few words from a community member on the importance of being involved. He speaks to the changes he sees in his local GRPS schools now that more doors are open for parents to get even more involved.

LINC knows that our communities are rich in one of the biggest assets there ispeople. We know hundreds of people go above and beyond to make a difference, to help others. The LINC Neighborhood Engagement team is honored to work alongside people as they strive to improve their communities every day. One such inspirational community member is Brian Beard. Beard is one of the many people who work in our schools to help improve education and reach out to students in the Believe 2 Become Hope Zones. We caught up with him at a recent Grand Rapids Public Schools event.

How did you find out about B2B and why did you get involved?

We found out about B2B from a flyer, from LINC. Now we tell everyone we know about it. We wanted to see changes in our school, not just in school but in the communities around our schools. So when we found out about these meetings, we wanted to be a part of it.

What do you like about these community meetings?

The thing I like about the meetings is the joining of minds, the collaboration. I coach basketball and football, and I noticed a lot of kids aren’t getting the help they need. I can see what is missing, and I get to bring that to the meetings. I can relay those needs, and actually start to see real change. Like at Campus [Elementary]—we spoke in the groups about some of those needs, and now we’ve noticed the change. People are more involved, and the kids are more successful.

What keeps you involved?

The positive changes we see, and the involvement of more people. It’s a process. Everything needs fine tuning. We’d like to see more community policing, for example. The good thing about the meetings is it makes us all more aware. It brings people together so their voices can be heard.

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