All posts by Scott Savage
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Transforming Schools, Transforming Communities..

May 13, 2015 No Comments 6

"I don’t think there was a moment in the very beginning [when] a bunch of us gathered and decided to try to make a difference in education. This concern for schools popped up from many different places all at the same time, and we began to discover each other." Tracey Beal, Pastor of Community Development at Pure Heart Christian Fellowship, wrote these words in a blog post last September as she and a few friends launched SchoolConnectAZ.com, a website dedicated to "blowing wind into the sails of this movement to love schools." Jill Hicks, Community Engagement Specialist for Washington Elementary School District, believes the time is ripe for this new kind of collaboration. "With the current political climate and the changing nature of public education funding in Arizona, things are looking bad,” she says. “But this forces us to look around and engage in a way we haven't before. At one time, collaboration was a one-time project or a church coming to a school. This is different." Camelview128 Beal goes even further, saying, "Schools are overwhelmed with the problems that they're facing. They're experiencing the brokenness of our culture. They want to know someone is concerned too. When they hear someone cares about them and understands their struggle, communities come together." Beal is viewed by multiple parties as an early pioneer in this kind of collaboration. She began working in the mid-2000s with students from her Young Life program at ASU, at both the West and Downtown campuses. The students began serving Herrera Elementary, located near 7th Street and Buckeye. Beal's network of friends from Neighborhood Ministries and the provost's office at ASU Downtown began to see this kind of collaboration impacting Herrera's teachers, administration, and students. Billy Thrall, Director of Church Relations for Grand Canyon University and...

"I don’t think there was a moment in the very beginning [when] a bunch of us gathered and decided to try to make a difference in education. This concern for schools popped up from many different places all at the same time, and we began to discover each other." Tracey Beal, Pastor of Community Development at Pure Heart Christian Fellowship, wrote these words in a blog post last September as she and a few friends launched SchoolConnectAZ.com, a website dedicated to "blowing wind into the sails of this movement to love schools." Jill Hicks, Community Engagement Specialist for Washington Elementary School District, believes the time is ripe for this new kind of collaboration. "With the current political climate and the changing nature of public education funding in Arizona, things are looking bad,” she says. “But this forces us to look around and engage in a way we haven't before. At one time, collaboration was a one-time project or a church coming to a school. This is different." Camelview128 Beal goes even further, saying, "Schools are overwhelmed with the problems that they're facing. They're experiencing the brokenness of our culture. They want to know someone is concerned...

"I don’t think there was a moment in the very beginning [when] a bunch of us gathered and decided to try to make a difference in education. This concern for schools popped up from many different places all at the same time, and we began to discover each other." Tracey Beal, Pastor of Community Development at Pure Heart Christian Fellowship, wrote these words in a blog post last September as she and a few friends launched SchoolConnectAZ.com, a website dedicated to "blowing wind into the sails of this movement to love schools." Jill Hicks, Community Engagement Specialist for Washington Elementary School District,...

"I don’t think there was a moment in the very beginning [when] a bunch of us gathered and decided to try to make a difference in education. This concern for schools popped up from many different places all at the same time, and we began to discover each other." Tracey Beal,...

"I don’t think there was a moment in the very beginning [when] a bunch of us gathered and decided to try to make a difference...

"I don’t think there was a moment in the very beginning [when] a bunch of us gathered and decided to try to make a difference in education. This concern for schools popped up from many different places all at the same time, and we began to discover each other." Tracey Beal, Pastor of Community Development at Pure Heart Christian Fellowship, wrote these words in a blog post last September as she and a few friends launched SchoolConnectAZ.com, a website dedicated to "blowing wind into the sails of this movement to love schools." Jill Hicks, Community Engagement Specialist for Washington Elementary School District,...

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Flourishing Without Boundaries..

July 22, 2014 1 Comment 12

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily work of Larry Ortega. Whether negotiating with a future tenant for a space he is showing or producing an art piece with wood and resin, Larry brings together disparate parts in an incredibly unique way. Having moved here in 1980, he recalls the Phoenix he encountered as a small, “cozy” town with boundaries. “Nothing like the spread out, sprawling monstrosity we have today,” he says. What began as a career in art dovetailed into over 30 years in the world of retail real estate. The real estate market has drastically evolved in those three decades. As Phoenix evolved from a small town to a sprawling metropolis, Larry noticed the emergence of a more sophisticated city with an urban core and eventually a light rail. Many have stopped thinking like a “small town” and now approach issues like a “big city.” When prompted to look back over 34 years in Phoenix, Larry becomes reflective. “There is just something to be said for longevity,” he says. “I have gone through all the recessions. I have made it through each real estate crash.” And in the process, he says, he has become connected to the wider community, including relationships with those in business, government, and faith communities. “When you have roots,” he says, “the relationships you garner are amazing.” It is those relationships that invigorate Larry’s eclectic work—and the same relationships focus his life’s calling. When you have roots, the relationships you garner are amazing. How does someone with 30 years of experience in retail real estate brokering, who also owns and operates an art gallery, bring together the randomness of the average day? “It starts with calling,” he says. “My calling is locating, identifying,...

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily work of Larry Ortega. Whether negotiating with a future tenant for a space he is showing or producing an art piece with wood and resin, Larry brings together disparate parts in an incredibly unique way. Having moved here in 1980, he recalls the Phoenix he encountered as a small, “cozy” town with boundaries. “Nothing like the spread out, sprawling monstrosity we have today,” he says. What began as a career in art dovetailed into over 30 years in the world of retail real estate. The real estate market has drastically evolved in those three decades. As Phoenix evolved from a small town to a sprawling metropolis, Larry noticed the emergence of a more sophisticated city with an urban core and eventually a light rail. Many have stopped thinking like a “small town” and now approach issues like a “big city.” When prompted to look back over 34 years in Phoenix, Larry becomes reflective. “There is just something to be said for longevity,” he says. “I have gone through all the recessions. I have made it through each real...

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily work of Larry Ortega. Whether negotiating with a future tenant for a space he is showing or producing an art piece with wood and resin, Larry brings together disparate parts in an incredibly unique way. Having moved here in 1980, he recalls the Phoenix he encountered as a small, “cozy” town with boundaries. “Nothing like the spread out, sprawling monstrosity we have today,” he says. What began as a career in art dovetailed into over 30...

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily work of Larry Ortega. Whether negotiating with a future tenant for a space he is showing or producing an art piece with wood and resin,...

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily...

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily work of Larry Ortega. Whether negotiating with a future tenant for a space he is showing or producing an art piece with wood and resin, Larry brings together disparate parts in an incredibly unique way. Having moved here in 1980, he recalls the Phoenix he encountered as a small, “cozy” town with boundaries. “Nothing like the spread out, sprawling monstrosity we have today,” he says. What began as a career in art dovetailed into over 30...

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