During the course of this semester I’ve had the privilege of being mentored by Artie Padilla, executive director of Every Neighborhood Partnership (https://everyneighborhood.org/). Artie is an amazing community leader and has been nicknamed “the man who holds the key to the city!”. He partners with many other CBO’s and most importantly, Artie doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. During our first meeting, Artie went over the basics of Asset Based Community Development and shared how his CBO implements this approach to the neighborhoods they partner with. This has been a highlight of my semester, because I had the opportunity to see first-hand how community’s assets are used to accomplish their goals.

During our last meeting, I had the opportunity to shadow him throughout his work day and accompanied him in various meetings. It was so valuable to see how he interacts with other community leaders and to see how well respected he was amongst his peers. Not only does Artie have a relatable personality, but most of all he seeks to understand and help the communities that he partners with.

My time with Artie encouraged me to be engaged in the community and seek to understated, not just be understood. The mentorship aspect has been a highlight of my semester and I am so grateful for Artie’s investment!