People have a lot to say about Pennsylvania Community Heart & Soul! This resident-driven, humanities-based process engages the entire of a town in identifying what they love most about their community, what future they want for it, and how to achieve it.
Participants often become Heart & Soul champions -- and impactful local leaders -- fueling the program's steady growth across the state. Already in 2021, four new towns emerged along the historic Route 6 corridor.
The "Community Heart & Soul Minutes" videos below feature three incredible PA women leaders -- two from Williamsport (Star Poole and Alice Trowbridge) and one from Meadville (Autumn Vogel). They share their insights and experiences on community engagement, personal growth, planning, volunteering, and reimagining local decision-making.
"I started as a Community Heart & Soul volunteer and I got offered an opportunity to tell my story and everything pretty much blossomed from there. I feel like I know most of the city now just from not being afraid to engage in my community."
Star Poole, Community Heart & Soul Volunteer and School Board member in Williamsport
"One of the biggest impacts that Heart & Soul had in our community was involving new people -- people who weren't typically involved, weren't typically at the table, weren't typically heard -- and involving them in a really meaningful way in shaping our town and envisioning new possibilities..."
Autumn Vogel, current Meadville City Councilor and 2017-2018 Project Coordinator for My Meadville
"As a planner having done community engagement for years, this turns everything on its head. It starts with the people and what the people want and what matters most to them and the projects follow from that."
Alice Trowbridge, former Community Heart & Soul Project Coordinator for Heart of Williamsport, Williamsport, Pennsylvania and a Community Heart & Soul Coach