2014 YP Civic Impact Award


YP Civic Impact Award Finalists


Heather Jones – My passions are strengthening communities by developing relationships and networking to draw more resources that can empower people to bring positive change in their lives. As Assistant Director of the NNH, I lead a team of dedicated staff in helping our clients to become more self-sufficient and improve their quality of life. I developed and oversee several programs at the NNH, including computer and cooking classes for adults, which are facilitated by a partnership I coordinated with the UTC College of Nursing. I am passionate about mentoring youth and do this through middle and high school programs at the NNH as well as serving as a mentor for young girls through my church, New City East Lake. In the summer of 2013, I spearheaded a project with the East Lake Neighborhood Association and the City of Chattanooga to host a series of free outdoor movie nights in East Lake Park. In effort to connect with and support the local Latino community, one of the movies was featured in Spanish. I have acquired funding through Arts Build to facilitate this project again in the summer of 2014.


Brenna Kelly – After graduating from the University of Louisville with a degree in Political Science, Brenna Kelly loaded her backpack and pointed her compass west, accepting an AmeriCorps position with the Backcountry Trail Program of the California Conservation Corps. Upon completing her term of service with AmeriCorps, Brenna knew she had found her path, and continued to seek challenging experiences that combined youth development and conservation service. After 10 years of experience working with conservation corps and the U.S. Forest Service at both field and management levels, Brenna realized it was time to return to her Southern roots and endeavor to begin a corps program that sought to engage Southern youth in conservation service, personal development and recreation. Beginning in May, 2013 the Southeast Youth Corps (SYC) officially opened its doors, engaging 14 local youth though it’s Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) and Trips for Kids programs. Based upon the success of the inaugural programs and community interest, SYC is excitedly expanding YCC and Trips for Kids enrollment in 2014 and piloting AmeriCorps Conservation Crews for young adults aged 18 – 25.


Enora Moss – I have learned that life is about being of service to God and people. Working in the East Chattanooga and surrounding communities on service projects has been a great joy, providing entertainment to the residents has been an added bonus. My church home The Worlds Church of the Living God, Glass House Collective, the Good Neighbor Network, First Things First, Parks and Recreations centers and Brewer Media Group have all allowed me to reach many people to donate my time to help others. I have had mentor-ship opportunities as well as completed programs and projects that help and inspire adults and youths to realize their potential and how the cycle of giving can continue. I have the each one teach one mentality and it starts with me.


Stephen Scarbrough – Stephen Scarbrough is Co-Founder and Creative Director at Causeway — a civic engagement hub and platform for pairing local causes in Chattanooga with ways to address them. Stephen works with individual citizens, groups and local nonprofits who have a civic idea to improve our city and helps them rally support from the community to make their idea a success. In addition to coordinating many of Causeway’s day to day operations, Stephen manages the organization’s marketing efforts, graphic design and outreach. Causeway is run by an all-volunteer staff, and as a volunteer, Stephen has greatly contributed to the organization’s success — seeing over 30 local causes completed, raising over $165,000 for local causes, and engaging over 1300 Chattanoogans and local organizations. Stephen is passionate about helping Chattanoogans help themselves and providing them with the tools to do so. His goal is to see Chattanooga become the most civically engaged city in the nation, and he believes that ultimately ‘where there’s a cause, there’s a way.’


Jimmy Turner – Jimmy is a husband, Father, Christian Minister, Marine Corps veteran, and native Chattanoogan. While studying the Bible and attending Tennessee Temple University, Jimmy realized he had a burden for the underprivileged in society. His heart for society’s cast-offs led him to found Relevant Hope, an organization born from the philosophy that people in need shouldn’t have to seek out help. Relevant Hope takes the services and support available from other organizations and delivers it all on-site with love to those who need it. As a result, Jimmy spends several days a week, and countless hours, in homeless camps and other areas where our outside neighbors congregate. He doesn’t believe that helping the homeless is based on changing their circumstances; rather, he believes that the personal relationships he develops with the hundreds of homeless in Chattanooga will effect change in their heart and as a result, their life.


Rachael Watkins – As a 25-year-old Chattanooga native, I have been lucky to be a part of a lot of amazing initiatives and teams brimming with passionate people who want to make an impact, especially a few organizations in Chattanooga doing great work like the Benwood Foundation, La Paz Chattanooga, the Women’s Fund and the Partnership. There have been some incredible people in my life who have shaped and developed my sense of compassion and civic awareness, and personally, I don’t use my job or volunteer history as a metric of success – I think you make a bigger impact when your goal is to activate and develop other people who will also reinvest in their communities and maybe even do more than you. In Connecticut, I worked with an organizing group that trained college students to take on leadership roles and solve problems in their community, and now one of my students is going to law school with the intent to take on health care reform because his dad has cystic fibrosis and strugglesto pay medical bills. Here in Chattanooga, I worked with the Benwood Foundation to plan the Hunter Lecture Series, which brought thought-leaders like Michael Pollan and Thomas Friedman to Chattanooga, but I am especially proud of being able to introduce urban farmer Will Allen to the students at Hixson High and hear them trade knowledge, advice and jokes on hoop houses and hydroponics. Now, I am working with the Partnership and the Women’s Fund because only 16% of rapes are reported and only 5% of rapists ever spend a day in jail, and because every woman struggling with abuse or inequality is a disgrace and a hurdle for our whole community. Any community’s greatest strength is not its technology or its urban design, but the engagement of its people, and the more people I can activate and the more people who can activate me, the better our community will be.