Can Do! Meeting Focuses on At-Risk Youth

Those who attended this morning’s Can Do! meeting spent an informative hour and one-half learning what is meant by the term “at-risk youth,” the challenge of meeting the unique needs of this population and the programs that have been established to address that challenge. Can Do! board member B. J. Behnke, assisted by fellow board member John Bailey, facilitated an interesting discussion among the six panel participants who provided us with insights drawn from their years of working with these young people. The panel members were:

Panel MemberOrganization/Position
Panel MemberOrganization/Position
Bill BarnesCharlotte High School Principal
Bill CallahanCharlotte Chief of Police
Eric EmeryRelevant Academy
Becky CarsonBarry/Eaton CASA Executive Director
Bill LuxmoreRelevant Academy
Rosemary AndersonEaton County Youth Facility

Panel members offered the following suggestions for how community members could assist at-risk youth on their journey to becoming productive adult citizens:

  • Provide support for at-risk youth within programs that are already in place
  • Look for opportunities to mentor at-risk youth
  • Support law enforcement programs that work pro-actively to address the needs of these young people
  • Teach at-risk youth “real life 101”
  • Volunteer to work with youth; give them attention within one’s circle of influence
  • Provide financial support for programs that address their needs
  • Don’t miss the chance to do the little things, including showing signs of appreciation
  • Hire at-risk youth to work in one’s business
  • Involve them in community service.

Information About Aquatic Center and Recreation Millage

Charlotte area residents will have an opportunity on May 8, 2012 to vote on a millage proposal to provide funding for operation of the Charlotte Aquatic Center and for certain other recreation programs. In an effort to further educate area residents about this important issue, Can Do! is making available the following documents:

Disclaimer: The availability of this information on this website does not represent an endorsement by Can Do! or its board of directors of the proposal.

Results of Community Conversation Day

During the Can Do! General Membership meeting held on November 22, 2011, attendees gathered in small groups to have conversations and share ideas that were inspired by the programs and presentations at other 2011 meetings. Participants recorded their thoughts on index cards. A listing of the various ideas, grouped by category, is available here.

What is to be done with these thoughts and ideas? This is where the strength of Can Do! really comes into play. Some of the ideas might be pursued by one of the existing Can Do! committees. Others might be taken up by another group or organization in the community. In still other cases, an individual might look for other like-minded people to form a new committee under the Can Do! umbrella and begin working to address the opportunity or issue.

Remember: Can Do! stands for Charlotte Area Networking for Development and Opportunity. If you see something on the list that interests you, use the Can Do! network to find other community members to work with you on that subject. That is what Can Do! is all about.

Coffee, Conversation, Community and Can Do!

Imagine this: You can help make Charlotte a more vibrant community by having a conversation over coffee with a few friends and neighbors.

Charlotte residents will have just such an opportunity when Charlotte Area Networking for Development and Opportunity (Can Do!) kicks off its 2012 series of General Membership meetings on January 25 at 7:00 a.m. The theme for the first program is “Communicating Community.”

The program will feature a presentation by the Can Do! Marketing Committee concerning two efforts with which it is involved. The first is the annual “Celebrate Charlotte” advertising image campaign that has produced commercials viewed by residents throughout mid-Michigan. The presentation will also introduce a web portal concept which will provide a virtual front door to Charlotte for people visiting via the Internet.

The second presentation will showcase the work of the Can Do! Leadership Pillar in creating a “dashboard” for the organization, a way of reporting how Can Do! committees are making a difference in our community. Following this presentation, participants will have an opportunity to discuss with others how best to measure the success of Can Do! initiatives.

Can Do! provides occasions for networking among individuals interested in developing a more vital community. General Membership meetings are held in the Spartan Room at the Charlotte Community Library and are open to anyone who lives or works in the Charlotte area. Please join us on January 25 at 7:00 a.m. We’ll provide the coffee.

For more information, visit our website at or look for us on Facebook.

Welcome to the Redesigned Can Do! Website

Can Do! has just completed a redesign of this website to make it more useful for Can Do! participants and other members of the greater Charlotte community. You will now find a calendar that includes upcoming General Membership gatherings as well as meetings of various Can Do! committees. The “Upcoming Programs” tab will let you know what will be happening at General Membership gatherings.

We have also added a “Community News” feature in the sidebar of the Home page. You can provide links to news articles or blog posts about Charlotte. In addition, this is a great location for those announcements about happenings in Charlotte that you want to share with the rest of the world.

Please check back often as we continue to add more features and content.