2010 has been a year of tremendous growth for the Michael Chavez Center beyond our expectations; we have been blessed just as we serve as a blessing to others. We entered the year with a newly refurbished facility and a new name, carrying forward the passion of deceased small business and Monument Community advocate Michael Chavez. We began the year with three small programs and ended with four expanding programs; we began serving 120 people each year and this year ended serving nearly 800 individuals; we began with four full time staff and ended with nine; we began with four committed volunteers and ended with nearly thirty.
However, this past year is about much more than numbers and program growth. It is about people and the building of new relationships and opportunities. It is about staff, program members, volunteers, Board members and partner agencies who care deeply about each other and the community. It is about funders who uphold accountability and who support organizational sustainability. Through all these blessings, our impact on individuals and families—significantly raising self-confidence and skill levels in addition to developing new job and business opportunities—has been nothing short of tremendous.
Members of our day labor program have new skills and are demonstrating newfound assurance in publicly speaking about both their joys and their concerns as vital members of the community. For the technology program, classes have been booming; new course offerings and an Internet awareness initiative bring computer learning directly to those who seek it. Students are amazed and how they are now able to help their children with homework, find useful life-changing information on the internet, and seek new opportunities for employment. A new career development program has gotten off to a great start, adding a new buzz to the center with skill assessments, resume building, interview coaching and job searches constantly taking place. A cooperative development program, which had launched one business in 2009, now boasts three cooperative businesses and is looking at new prospects for personal training, asset development and financial access.
The bottom line? The Michael Chavez Center is part of a movement that is seeing a community transformed as people contribute skills, exercise leadership, collaborate with others, and make use of the economic opportunities that are available to them. In this way, blessed through the Center, they too are becoming a blessing to all those around them.