Some of NOC’s most attentive and engaged students walk miles to get to The Oaks’ Program Center each morning. Yahir and Hector Urias and their cousin Marlín Ramirez could often be spotted racing down the pathway beside Highway 278 an hour before class began each day during the summer session. They were followed by Yahir and Hector’s mother and Marlín’s two small sisters pushing a stroller. Inocencia Ramirez, mother of one of the boys, says that she and the rest of their family value education, and they also enjoy the exercise she and the five children get on their long walk from Marshland Road each day. These students are dedicated learners and a joy to be around. They also have dedicated parents who care about their future and appreciate the importance of education for their children.
Miguel, who lives in Cordillo Courts and attends HH Middle School and NOC’s after school program, works with a vendor in the weekends, making food deliveries to residents who live in Cordillo and Hedges Apartments. Miguel works hard for several hours and earns $15 to $20 a day. But today, Miguel was a Good Samaritan.
Miguel saw Dr. Sharma, NOC’s Chair, unloading his car, which was packed with tables and supplies for the Cordillo Program Center. He walked over and said that he would help. He got permission from his boss and started to work. He was sweating profusely in the sweltering heat and looked exhausted, but he helped Dr. Sharma for almost an hour, transferring items from the car to NOC’s new apartment, which is being added to the existing Program Center in the Cordillo Complex. He also helped in cleaning the apartment and arranging the furniture.
When it was over, he said that he was proud to help and he remarked that “I like my new center.” NOC is proud of him as well for being such a good trooper. Dr. Sharma commented, “I felt that this is what makes it worthwhile to be out in the neighborhood helping these kids live up to their potential. It certainly made my day.”
Thirty NOC children from HHI and Bluffton had the opportunity to participate in the BCSD’s 2014 School Expo at Bluffton High School on Saturday, July 26.
The children were excited and participated in the program enthusiastically. They were selected by their Program Managers because of their regular attendance, good performance, and good behavior in NOC’s Virtual Summer Learning Program. They were excellent ambassadors for NOC and their respective Program Centers. They received backpacks, school supplies, and a $50 gift card from Walmart. They joined other children from across the county for a hearty lunch and beverages. The experience was very special for these kids who were already eager to venture out to spend their money. All in all, this was a great day for these kids.
NOC extends a special thank you to the BCSD, the dedicated staff of the District who organized this event, the vendors who provided supplies for the students, and also to Walmart for their generous contribution of gift cards.
The Neighborhood Outreach Connection (NOC) has helped the residents of the Oaks Apartments in HHI to form a community organization after discussions over the past two years. These discussions allowed the residents to recognize the importance of having an organization and building consensus on the role of such an organization and its responsibilities.
On July 21, 2014, residents of the Oaks Apartments enthusiastically elected four officers (a president, 2 vice presidents, and a secretary) of their new organization.
The aim of the organization is to foster community unity and engagement to promote community development. The Oaks organization will, among other things, focus on safety and security, environmental cleanliness, and beautification, as well as promotion of social events. They will maintain continuous dialogue with the regime management to ensure that tenants’ rights are protected and that the property is well maintained, in keeping with standards of the regime’s by-laws. The organization will also develop a neighborhood watch system in collaboration with the local law enforcement agency. NOC’s will assist this organization as needed. As this organization becomes established and successful, this model can be replicated in other neighborhoods locally.