Sky Ranch has been very blessed to work with great partners and great partnership organizations as we seek ways to love and serve our neighbors in our Four Winds service learning programs. This past summer, we launched a pilot program in Fort Morgan, Colorado, working closely with Lutheran Church – Our Redeemer, ELCA, as well as OneMorgan County and the local community garden. The program was a great success, with the participants experiencing a uniquely diverse community in Fort Morgan and deeply exploring new pathways of service.
It is with great excitement that we share that Brenda Zion, Executive Director of OneMorgan County, is being recognized by the White House as a Welcoming America Champion of Change. Below is a letter from Brenda announcing the honor and a press release from the White House.
Congratulations goes to Brenda and OneMorgan County. Our deepest thanks goes to her and all of our other partners as we seek out new ways to live the Gospel, together.
LETTER FROM BRENDA ZION, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ONEMORGAN COUNTY
Dear Friends of OneMorgan County:
It is my great honor and privilege to be able to announce that on Thursday I will be recognized by the White House as a Welcoming America Champion of Change.
According to the attached White House press release, “On Thursday, September 19th, in honor of Citizenship Day and National Welcoming Week, the White House will highlight Brenda Zion as one of ten local heroes who are ‘Champions of Change’ that work tirelessly to effectively integrate immigrants civically, linguistically, and socially into the fabric of their neighborhoods by bringing all residents together to create welcoming communities. The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals, businesses, and organizations doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. “
This installment of the White House’s Champions of Change program is being held in conjunction with Welcoming America’s National Welcoming Week.
According to the attached Welcoming America press release, “The Champions are being honored by the White House during National Welcoming Week, a nationwide event taking place September 15th-22nd with more than 100 events across the country that underscore the contributions of immigrants to local cultural and economic life. This Thursday, September 19th, the White House will recognize ten individuals and their innovative efforts to lift up newcomer contributions and involve the whole community in supporting successful immigrant integration. “
On Thursday the event will stream live 11 am to 1 pm MST on the White House website atwww.whitehouse.gov/live. During those two hours my fellow honorees and I will be recognized and will be participating in a moderated panel discussion sharing our perspectives and insights from the field.
A list of all ten Champions and our bios is posted to the White House website athttp://www.whitehouse.gov/champions/welcoming-america. Each of us also has submitted a blog and I will share a link to the blog section once it is available. I have attached my blog for your information.
I want to thank OMC’s network, OMC’s community, OMC’s Board of Directors and the people we serve. It is very significant to me to have the honor of traveling to Washington DC and receiving recognition on behalf of immigrant integration in Morgan County, Colorado. This community is very special to me. Awards such as this help bring legitimacy to OMC’s efforts. I appreciate the opportunity to continue to strengthen and unite our community by exhibiting that we all (long-standing residents and newcomers alike) can endeavor to evolve as individuals and as a collective community. I thoroughly enjoy demonstrating that “OMC’s work is aimed at helping to make the transitions associated with immigration more efficient so that each of us in our many roles, whether we are immigrants or receiving community members, have an increased chance of reaching our highest potential for the betterment of ourselves and for our community.”
Thank you last but not least to the White House and Welcoming America staff for putting forth the effort to recognize this work. Congratulations to you and my fellow honorees for your extraordinary contributions to our nation.
I will be providing a follow-up email after the event to share additional information. As always, let me know if you have questions.
With sincere regard,
BIA Accredited Representative
Executive Director, OneMorgan County
WHITE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE