Saturday, October 27, marked an important milestone for NOC with the formal opening of two newly renovated apartments as Program Centers for NOC’s education, health, and workforce development services.
More than 100 people, including NOC Board members, representatives from the Beaufort County Board of Education, principals and teachers, residents of the Oaks Apartments, and caring friends from the greater Hilton Head Island community, attended the celebration.
A brief history of NOC and its business model was provided by Board Chair Narendra Sharma, followed by an overview of the renovation project by NOC Field Director Glenn Love. Ms. Love recognized the many residents and local businesses that provided labor and materials to complete the total renovation and conversion of two apartments into learning centers for the neighborhood children.
The next speaker was Oscar Cardoza, whose heart-felt statement of gratitude brought tears to the eyes of many people. Mr. Fred Washington spoke next, commending NOC for the positive changes it has brought into the lives of the Oaks neighborhood and its children. He emphasized the importance of the partnership between NOC and the Beaufort County School District, and noted that this is a model that can be replicated in other communities.
Finally, Hilton Head Mayor Drew Laughlin commented on the importance of community activism in order to bring about positive change. He noted that it is good for the Oaks community and also for Hilton Head overall. Mayor Laughlin then joined Dr. Sharma and others for a formal ribbon-cutting, marking the official opening of the new Program Centers.
Translation was provided throughout the program by Ms. Bibiana Osario.
Following the ribbon-cutting, everyone enjoyed music and food provided by NOC and residents of the Oaks community. Coffee was provided by Starbucks and a special treat of snow cones was provided to the children present by members of the Hilton Head Kiwanis Club.