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  • Writer's pictureChristine Moore

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Hello there!

My name is Christy Moore, and YOU are helping a long time dream of mine come true! As the executive director of the Colley Community Center (CCC) here in Norfolk, I am thrilled to have an opportunity to help foster growth in and for our neighborhood. The excitement I feel when I think of what this place could become is hard to contain. Before I get ahead of myself, though, I wanted to take a quick moment to introduce myself and share the vision of the CCC.

To start, I must confess that I am not a 757 native, but I am an overjoyed transplant. My husband and I both grew up in Richmond, Virginia and thought we'd be there for at least a few more decades, but life has its surprises, doesn't it? We moved here in 2019, and it didn't take long to feel like we were home. We love taking our dog for evening walks, riding our bikes around town, meeting up with friends at breweries, serving alongside our church family, and spending sunny afternoons at the oceanfront. Although this list covers much of how I like to spend my free time, it fails to highlight one of my greatest passions: education.

As an English teacher for over 16 years, I had the honor of supporting over 2000 high schoolers in their quest to grow into stronger, more effective readers and communicators. I look back on my years in the classroom with a deep appreciation; being a teacher was both fulfilling and gratifying on a daily basis.

Towards the end of my 12th year as a public educator, I felt a desire to know more and to be able to do more to support my students. This led me to pursue my PhD in education at Virginia Commonwealth University. I enrolled in the Curriculum, Culture, and Change track in hopes of determining ways that I could become a more effective leader in the field. (And I can't help but take a brief pause to point out that this program track was often called the CCC track... the fact that another one of my life's greatest pursuits will share the same acronym feels quite fitting!)

Throughout my courses at VCU, I found myself regularly reflecting on how I wished I could focus on helping each of my learners develop and strengthen particular skills. These skills, though, often failed to fit neatly into my curriculum. Some students needed help navigating conflict with peers. Some struggled with crippling anxiety that made it hard to come to school, much less focus while in class. Still others were facing financial stress that distracted them from completing assignments. The further I progressed on my doctoral journey, the more I found myself wishing I could adopt a more holistic and personalized approach to my instruction.

It was feeling limited in my ability to support personalized learning that led me to help spearhead this nonprofit. After successfully defending my dissertation in November 2020, I briefly returned to the high school classroom. Although I still loved working with teenagers day in and day out, I couldn't shake this longing to embrace a different approach to instruction. I decided to take a leap of faith and step away from the teaching world I'd known. I have spent the last year imagining what such a learning space could look like- one that is focused on responding to the specific needs of learners without traditional constraints.

And this is exactly what the CCC will attempt to do.

As we identify learning needs among our neighbors, we will work diligently to respond to those needs by developing workshops that provide information and tools intended to empower our participants. The workshops we plan to host will specifically focus on providing opportunities for community members- no matter their age or financial status- to invest in their lifelong learning. At the CCC, I want to play a role in helping to provide content that is beneficial, timely, and transformative for our participants.

I have found myself thinking of this community center as a new "classroom" but one that has limitless possibilities for both the instructors and learners alike. Courses on everything from parenting to meditating to navigating healthcare will equip participants with practical knowledge to assist them in their daily lives. Workshops encouraging artistic expression- poetry writing, painting, crafting, building, etc.- will encourage our neighbors to develop new hobbies or interests that could serve them for years to come.

The journey that led me to this position has had its fair share of detours, but I think each unexpected turn has made getting to this place even more rewarding. I am committed to our cause. I will draw on my experience, my insight, and my creativity as I seek to prepare and promote learning opportunities that benefit and strengthen our community.

In this new role, I hope to support growth and flourishing in all of the many "students" who walk through our doors. As I consider all those we will serve and support, I am exhilarated and humbled in equal measure. I cannot wait for our doors to open and for us to begin to live out our key mission: to become a cultural hub that seeks to celebrate our diverse community & invest in its thriving.

I can't wait to connect with you.

Warmest regards,

Christy Moore, PhD

Executive Director

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