Cassandra Bachrach

Possibilities opened the doors of my soul. My racial fears were erased and I found they were not based on fact. I grew up with so many misconceptions about what others were like. The majority of people I worked with were people of different races and I saw they were just like me. I also erased the thought that if I wanted to do something, no one would help. I found many people who are ready to help not just themselves, but anyone who asked. I have gained a lot of confidence personally. The message I received was I am a leader. This is so different from the messages I have always gotten.

Joel Bradford

Joel Bradford rarely misses a People’s Network meeting or any chance to connect through Possibilities. His definition of “community” goes back to his roots, in the small town of Washington, Oklahoma. Not only is he a strong supporter in his own neighborhood of Carverdale here in Oklahoma City, he also nurtures the small town where he was raised. How? Mr. Bradford owns a farm where he grows watermelons and greens. Anyone who needs food can harvest from his garden. He also maintains a picnic area, church and cemetery where those who cannot afford burial may be buried for free.

Jerry Cable

When Jerry Cable was voted in as the neighborhood association president of Medical Community, he modestly said, “Hopefully, I can make our area better.” Through Possibilities Innovation Program, Jerry says he’s learned to do more listening than talking. It must be working well for him, because he has held five crime prevention events that each attracted between 200-400 people, has delivered more than 100 Christmas baskets to isolated seniors and has built a sense of community identity in the neighborhood that has achieved lower crime rates, numerous beautification efforts, and increased property values. In his community, Jerry is regarded as a trusted friend to the community that works tirelessly for everyone!

Eula Defendini

I got the opportunity to work with programs that help our youth grow and understand their worth. I worked with the SONFEST summer program of fun, reading, math and science and Brothers and Sisters of Tomorrow performing arts group. Both serve diverse youth from all over NW Oklahoma City. These programs not only help the youth grow, but also help me grow. Possibilities worked alongside of us and helped us come up with key roles and responsibilities when building our events. Possibilities guided us through organizing our ideas and different ways to get volunteers, donations and friends involved. We had youth and parents from Britton Elementary, Greystone Lower, Britton Christian Church and Bridgeway Church join the journey. The progress of these children is exciting. We weren’t just putting on a one time program. We get to know these children and plant a seed of greatness in each of them. We want the children to know that no matter what, they can accomplish whatever they can dream. We want them to know there is more out in the world than just what they see. PIP has been eye-opening for me. I see the importance of other people’s piece of community, whether big or small. It is awesome to see how uniquely, imperfectly and wonderfully we all fit together. I appreciate being a part of a well-orchestrated, selfless group of people that bought out the best in me. As a community, we need Possibilities and their powerful tools and commitment to build a positive thriving OKC community.

Christopher Gardner

I have worked for OKCPS for many years in different roles and communities. I was born and raised in Spencer, so I want to be one of the change agents for our youth in this community. While serving as principal in Spencer, I was introduced to Possibilities Innovation Program. PIP allowed me to grow at my own pace and see things with a totally new perspective. I began to look to Spencer stake holders for community outreach and I became more open to hearing fresh ideas from my team. Before Possibilities, I made a lot of decisions in isolation. I always had the right intent, but sometimes did not include all of the team players. While I had a few select individuals that I would talk to, I didn’t have or trust the whole team in the planning stages. PIP allowed me to see a different side of working together as a team. I have grown to be more collaborative in my decision making. I am more flexible and outgoing. I have tried more things off the beaten path. I knew it had to be a noticeable change when my wife commented on it. I found PIP rewarding because it allowed me to connect to more people in a true sense and see more perspectives on things. Possibilities promotes teamwork, communication, unity and teaches different coping strategies and ways to deal with conflict. The tools that Possibilities teaches allow walls to be torn down, to grow, to see past differences and unite as one to accomplish goals.

Leo Marin

At Possibilities, I got involved in things that I would have never imagined being involved with, and those are the things that I will never forget. An active member of the PIP program invited me to join, and before I knew it I was heavily involved, attending meetings and working on community projects. I was amazed to see the diverse group of people of different races, ethnic backgrounds and religions working together. The most important thing is that we were there to learn and create this journey together where we accomplish projects, and we do it with the same enthusiasm as if it was the first day we met. I now have a positive attitude on all the personal goals I set for myself. I feel like I need to listen first before giving an opinion. Possibilities has helped me in giving me more knowledge, skills and focus so that I can best help my community. Possibilities is critical because of the opportunities it offers to improve our communication that will help us be more prepared to resolve community issues as they come up. Possibilities also offers a key factor of networking opportunities, and it actually provides a guide to a better future.

Teresa Seal

During PIP, I participated in a project based on preventing childhood obesity. The project group began small and then began to grow. Each new member brought new ideas and networks of community members that could help take an idea and make it real. Although our project was a huge undertaking, we worked on it a little at a time and it was a great success. My biggest takeaway was the fact that even ideas or projects that seem too big can be accomplished working with others. Team members each have their own talents and together, focusing on each person’s talents, you go farther. This is an important lesson because I am introverted. Understanding the power a group has when working towards a common goal helps me. I understand why I need others to progress. This is the importance of Possibilities. They help you become a community leader by teaching tools to understand your strengths, find commonalities with those you may not think you have much in common with, and teach you ways to make change possible with a step by step community approach.

Mary Sosa

Mary loves her community in SW Oklahoma City. Because of the crime and cultural disconnect in her community, Mary worked with others to organize an association for her neighborhood. In the middle of her first meeting, she said to herself, “This is what you’ve been learning to do at Possibilities!” When she found herself elected President of the new College Hill neighborhood association, she said “I’m going to use what I have learned to get things going,” and she certainly has! Mary says that Possibilities helped her to look at things differently and know how to put things together. Because of Possibilities, she is able to get up and communicate her ideas to neighbors, and inspire them to see what possibilities are available. Possibilities helped Mary to bring back ideas and explain them to neighbors in a way that makes people excited. Mary has learned to talk less and listen more, and help people to see all the things they can do. Being associated with Possibilities brings Mary lots of ideas, moral support, and resources. People view Mary as a leader in her community, and look forward to what she brings back from Possibilities.

Lydia Villalpando

I first heard about Possibilities through my Family Advocate at Educare, and I attended the PIP celebration. The next year, my mom, brother and sister attended PIP. I have seen them all benefit from being a part of Possibilities. My brother was shot a few years ago. As a result, he is now partially blind and in a wheelchair. It was helpful for him to meet and be around other people to help him come out of his shell. My mom doesn’t speak English fluently and it was helpful for her to find a supportive community that accepted her. Possibilities accepts people the way they are, and that is powerful.

The work I do at Educare has made great progress for the success of young children, but my neighborhood still struggles. I have lived my neighborhood for 5 years, and it is a dangerous place. Possibilities is always there to help the community get better. Possibilities is a great program to help our kids get out of trouble. Through my work with Possibilities, I believe I will make a real difference in my neighborhood.