When Opportunity Knocks

When Opportunity Knocks

An Amarillo church opens its doors to opportunity.
Opportunities can come when you least expect them.

Many folks walked through the doors of an Amarillo church with hopes of a brighter future.

They headed to the Central Church of Christ with an I can't attitude, but walked out saying I will.

President of Communication Across Barriers Dr. Donna Beegle says, "remove the shame that povery teaches.  Rebuild the hope that poverty steals, recude the isolation by linking them to a mentor navigator and also build the community awareness about real poverty causes."

Beegle says through speaking, motivation, and just providing an ear, people's lives can be changed

"Hearing her talk, it's been an inspiration.  I feel hopeful now, like I can do it."

Beegle says many started the day feeling hopeless, and by the end of the conference they have action plans for careers and school.

Shes' not working alone though.

The Opportunity Conference has been a real community effort.

Some volunteer co-chairs for the event include Panhandle Twenty/20, Cal Farley's Boys Ranch, and Dr. Dana West.

Co-chair Dr. Dana West says, "when people in Amarillo find out that ther's work to be done to help people to have a better life, to help people to get an education, the Amarillo community always steps up."

Anette Carlisle from Panhandle Twenty/20 says the goals aimed and reached through these conferences, of not only addressing poverty but also making the community more aware, have not gone unnoticed.

She says, "the changes that have come in our community because the work on poverty, the focus on poverty, and really taking down our blinders and looking at our community."

More than 140 registered to be apart of the conference, Jessica being one of them.

We asked her what her future goals were.

She says, "I have a lot.  I just want to be able to graduate and help more people in my commuity, and spread this word ya know.  Since i've learned this here i'd like to share it with other people."

More support for the event was provided by the No Limits No Excuses partnerships, and by generous donatons from our community.

The Opportuntiy Community Conference has expanded through 8 states.

Dr. Beegle says next she's heading to Michigan.

She says we can guarantee she'll be back here in Amarillo for another Opportunity Conference next year.

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