Rose Jergens, Executive Director of Four Corners Child Advocacy Center has been involved with Team UP’s Collective Impact Initiative since its start. She is an active member of the Montezuma Steering Committee and the Child Maltreatment Prevention Action Team. She is so supportive of Team UP that she did the following interview twice, when a tech error deleted the first recording.
Jessica: How did you become involved with Team UP?
Rose: Originally, the whole reason why I wanted to be there was to integrate trauma informed processes into the work that we were doing. I wanted to make sure that whatever we were doing in our community, we were thinking about traumatic events that children and family have experienced – Adverse Childhood Experiences, and all of those pieces – that we understood that those things really impact the way people live their lives. I wanted to make sure that those were core values of the Collective Impact work.
Jessica: What excites you and brings you joy about the Team UP work?
Rose: We’re all capturing that spirit of what Collective Impact is. Originally even when we came together to collaborate, we were collaborating from our silos and not letting other people fill in the gaps. I think that what we’re doing is trying to figure out how to clean up gaps in service. That’s what I’m seeing with Team UP: bringing all those ideas about ways we can serve families to the table. And we’re getting better and better at it all the time!
There’s a piece about the work we do that forces us into a silo, and we are experimenting now with letting that go. Within Team UP, we are building trust, and we are building relationships. We’re learning how to rely on other organizations. It’s more than just sharing our resources – it’s sharing our families’ experiences. I get a lot of joy out of the trust that I’ve built with all of the other agencies.
Jessica: What are your goals for Team UP?
Rose: I am excited about how we’re learning to utilize AmeriCorps members. A lot of Action Teams come up with these really great ideas, identifying and addressing gaps. We come together as a group and we’re passionate about this issue, but then we have to figure out how to meet those needs. A lot of times, we can’t stretch ourselves or our staff any further. Being able to bring on an AmeriCorps member to run those projects and help realize our vision is so valuable. My hope for the future is that we can continue to utilize their strengths and meet many, many more needs.
I’ve been really impressed with how the Food Security Action Team has utilized their AmeriCorps member. I hope that the Child Maltreatment Prevention Action Team (CMPAT) will be able to utilize ours to that great of an extent. I feel like when I come together with the CMPAT, we are one – we are not our organizations. That’s the beauty of putting together our action plan: to see that this isn’t a Four Corners Child Advocacy Center function – this is a CMPAT function. This is something that we have all agreed upon and know needs to be done. We are figuring out the answer to, “But how do we do it?” and then we can bring on our AmeriCorps member to work with each of our agencies. I’m eager to see how it will be for that person to be serving for multiple agencies, but with one goal in mind. To me that’s super exciting, and I’m really hopeful that we’ll be able to continue to do this.
Jessica: What Team UP work do you feel proud of?
Rose: Our Food Security Action Team really demonstrates what it looks like to collectively work together. I think that their AmeriCorps member probably helped a lot because that individual is bringing all of their visions together to promote a unified action. For me, just seeing their work and how they’ve grown gives me a clearer vision of what Collective Impact is, and the ability to actually visualize it. WOW – I can’t stop bragging about how awesome the work that they’re doing is.
Jessica: Is there anything else about your work with Team UP that you’d like to share?
Rose: Being part of the Montezuma County Steering Committee has been really valuable. A lot of it has to do with being able to feel like, within my organization, I can have a bigger vision because I have Team UP to take my ideas to. It might feel impossible for just me, but I have all those partners there, and we can make sure we are working together. And it’s more than that – I don’t have to feel like I have to do all the heavy lifting! Having this group of folks who potentially have pieces of that puzzle helps lighten the load for me.
Right now I’m thinking about some new programming, and in order to do it there has to be a lot of pieces and resources in the community that already exist. I can try to create those services or I can trust that, when I’m ready, I can go to Team UP and I can say, “OK we’re ready to launch this program to serve this population and there are pieces that I can’t do.” And I don’t really need to, because another agency might be better suited to do that.
Sometimes it takes a while for you to really understand what you are getting out of your participation and to get what this Collective Impact spirit is. I am a part of this community, I serve these same populations of folks, I see that I’m learning a lot and I see what we can create together.
Team UP Coordinator
Team UP is a Collective Impact Initiative in Montezuma and Dolores Counties, bringing together a wide range of individuals and organizations, all working towards a common goal – improving outcomes for kids from cradle to career. Since this is a broad goal, Team UP Action Teams focus on more specific topics, such as Family Engagement, Child Maltreatment Prevention, Behavioral Health, Food Security, Youth Mental Health, the importance of Early Childhood development, and Early Childhood Education Expansion. United Way of Southwest Colorado serves as the backbone organization for Team UP.
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