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Thanking Cathy Pope: A Commentary

Courtesy of Aretha Marbley.
Cathy Pope
Cathy Pope

Happy New Year!! Please join me at the beginning of 2015, thanking my CoChair, Ms. Cathy Pope, CEO of Star Care Specialty Health System, (formerly Lubbock Regional MHMR Center), for her hard work and dedication not only to the East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood Grant, but also to the Lubbock and East Lubbock Communities.

As most of you know, Cathy is not new to East Lubbock nor to Community Alliances. Her work has spanned four decades with the majority of her adult life spent working in the trenches and helping to build up East Lubbock. If fact, her non-profit divisions are the forerunners to building East Lubbock into an area that attracts new businesses into the community.

As a point of history, On June 25, 2012, Cathy Pope sent the following, albeit, simple email to more than 20 of her community partners. Unbeknownst, to either of us, this would become the first meeting and true beginning of the Alliance (East Lubbock Community Alliance):

“This is a quickly scheduled meeting to get an overview around a Promise
Grant for Communities being written by Texas Tech School of Education.
It will focus on children and youth at-risk in east Lubbock. Please try to
make this one meeting.”

Amazingly, all of those invited and others showed up in act of solidarity to show their continued support and commitment to the children and families living, working, and attending schools in the East Lubbock Community. As long term supporters of East Lubbock, they readily and eagerly agreed to galvanize their resources, and support Dr. Scott Ridley and Texas Tech commitment to the goals delineated in the Promise Neighborhood Grant initiative and Texas Tech’s effort to seek one of the Promised Neighborhood Grants. Less than a year later, she would agree to be my Co-Chair of the community agency arm of the Safety Net Domain of the East Lubbock Promised Neighborhood Grant.

Over the next two years, our group of partners would hold monthly meetings–aligning our goals with and even expanding our goals beyond the Promise Neighborhood Grant initiative more closely wrapping ourselves and our services around the East Lubbock families, children, and community partners. In the fall of 2014, it spiraled into a separate entity—that would become the “Alliance.” We the “Alliance” remains in total support of the East Lubbock Community. Thank you Cathy for your leadership, insight, quick response, and lifelong commitment to the East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood Grant, our partners, and the families of East Lubbock!!