The highly successful Manchester Bidwell Institute in Pittsburgh provided an inspirational model for the North End Community Impact Center. Its guiding philosophy calls for the creation of an empowering atmosphere of art, light and music. The beauty designed into the center is an essential part of its success. The environment gives people of all ages the opportunities and tools they need to envision and build a better, brighter future for themselves. Manchester Bidwell's guiding principles and diverse programming transform the lives of the community.
In addition to this model, which heavily informed the construction and layout of the building itself, the board of NECIC also adopted a philosophy called the Circle of Courage based on indigenous people throughout the world who assess the wellbeing of the community by the condition of the children. Upon greeting, the question is asked "How are the children?"
The Circle of Courage is an approach to positive youth development that emphasizes four core values: belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. This holistic approach suggests that when these four core needs are met, young people are more likely to develop resilience, positive self-esteem, and a strong sense of identity. It provides a framework for understanding and supporting the healthy development of youth by addressing their emotional, social, cognitive, and spiritual needs.
Youth and residents will be exposed to a variety of careers and interests so they can envision other pathways in life. The psychological impact of residents witnessing investment in their neighborhood and recognizing that the community supports and cares about them is immeasurable. With central access to employment, healthcare, arts, education, small business development and recreation, the Community Impact Center is a place where our mission to improve the quality of life and economic landscape of the north end is lived.