Neighborhood Services News
One person can change the world.
As a dedicated member of the I Believe I Become community, Minnie Dentmond has never missed a meeting. She started attending gatherings in the Central Zone, and is continuing to lend her wisdom as the East Zone joins the B2B movement.
LINC: What compels you to take such an active part in the I Believe I Become movement?
Minnie: I like meeting people and talking with them. The I Believe I Become meetings provide a great opportunity for me to inform others about what is going on around them. I also take what I learn in the meetings and share it with my family, friends and neighbors.
LINC: Since the beginning of this work, have you established new relationships and/or friendships?
Minnie: I have met a whole lot of new friends; we talk with each other about the meetings. I make sure to listen carefully to what they share so I can ask them about it when I see them again. The LINC staff makes me feel like a part of the family, like I am important. When they are out in the neighborhood they are sharing a sort of spirit.
LINC: What changes have you seen in the behavior of your family, neighbors and community?
Minnie: Our community feels more secure, and we as neighbors feel more comfortable talking to each other and to our children. I am more mindful of the people around me, especially the older ones. I always tell them to watch their behavior and set good examples for the kids around. We have to earn from each other and get along together because we are family.
LINC: Do you feel equipped to lead change in your community? What role do you feel you can play in the I Believe I Become movement?
Minnie: Yes, I am ready to take on any roles you need me to fill. I have lived in Grand Rapids for 39 years, and I am still learning about life. I really enjoy talking to people of all ages, making connections and listening. I am a good listener.
I have been volunteering at the meetings and when I wear the I Believe I Become t-shirt I feel more respected and comfortable.
LINC: What do you think it will take to make sure all children are succeeding in school, work and life?
Minnie: The number one thing is that parents need to connect with the schools and see what is going on. They need to make sure they are showing children the importance of being on time and working hard in school. If parents don’t seem to care then kids won’t either.
I had 3 children, all grown up but one has passed, 5 grandchildren, and 7 great-grand kids. It is almost too many to remember. But when I talk, I talk for all of them, even my out of town relatives. They all wish there was an I Believe I Become program in Memphis.
LINC: Looking back over the past two years, what is one moment or memory that stands out?
Minnie: Last Spring, the Central zone came together and planned a Family Fun Night. That was so much fun. We ate together, played games together, joked, laughed and cried.
LINC: Why did you cry?
Minnie: Because it was the first time I have ever done that with my neighbors, my community.