The Resilience Project is a movement creating opportunities for connection in the Corvallis community. Corvallis has various social groups that don’t frequently interact. We have the highly educated and people who lack educational opportunities, those in poverty and with wealth, health, sickness, and disabilities, people in the trade, high-tech, health care, educational sectors, and service industry, people who are consumers, homeless, young and elderly, who are international or domestic students. Diversity enriches our community, but if someone feels isolated by social barriers, it leaves them feeling lonely and desperate for companionship.
When it comes down to it, we are humans who need the connection of other humans. We need that depth of togetherness we call community. The Resilience Project gives us that bridge and allows us to find people who, at first appearing alien to us, share a common ground. A college student buys art from a senior who is homeless. A professor who has lived in Corvallis for 25 years builds a kinetic racing machine with a kindergartner. A Boy Scout learns how to prepare a healthy meal for a type 1 diabetic. These interactions might be one-time deals or they might foster future connections, but either is important. It takes a lot to build a community of resilience, and a key component is utilizing creativity, imagination, and joy to invite our neighbors to engage together.
Jennifer participated in the 2018 Summer Games. She now serves on the Board of Directors for The Resilience Project.