Claire is a member of the Corporate Communications team, writing many of the employee stories we share. Now, Claire is sharing her personal experience with the Enterprise Holdings Foundation and an organization she’s passionate about.
In 2014 my husband, Dan, and I were focused on setting personal goals: career moves, a home purchase and financial planning. His newly accepted Graduate Assistantship (GA) with the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis (CBN) fit perfectly into that plan, offering him experience in his field and tuition assistance.
As Dan brought his work home, my attitude towards his GA position slowly transformed from one focused on the financial relief of grad school tuition to a genuine interest in the work of CBN.
CBN gathers community leaders of all backgrounds to build engaged and equitable neighborhoods. My neighborhood communities have always been strong and secure spaces, so I was privileged to not have previously needed to consider what it meant for communities to be intentionally supported and developed.
CBN offers community leaders easy access to policy updates and upcoming initiatives, and engagement with elected officials, policy experts, foundations and advocacy organizations.
Leaders utilize resources to change their neighborhoods – whether that’s advocating for a grocery store, pushing for affordable housing changes, organizing neighborhood clean-ups or creating safe communal spaces.
During Dan’s first year with CBN I attended an awards reception honoring community leaders making an impact in neighborhood development. The award recipients were passionate about building a thriving region for all St. Louis area neighborhoods and the energy was contagious.
Since then, I’ve also become involved with CBN, helping at member events and becoming involved with community action items outside of my home neighborhood.
Finding the Foundation
When I began my career with Enterprise 18 months ago, I was excited to learn one of the organization’s Guiding Principles perfectly aligned with my CBN experience: we strengthen our communities, one neighborhood at a time.
Recently I experienced the organization truly living this value when I received a grant from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation.
I am grateful the Foundation gave me the opportunity to support CBN in a way that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. The Foundation allowed me to express to CBN that I believe their work is very worthy of support beyond my service.
Both CBN and Enterprise have taught me the importance of setting goals outside of my personal interest.
When we focus on the health of our community goals and not just individual gain, we offer everyone an opportunity to succeed.
When our weakest neighborhoods are strengthened, our region only becomes stronger. When our neighbors do better, we do better, too.