Georgia Forward, an independent, non-partisan organization that's trying to do what it can to make the state a better place to live by bringing people together on collaborative projects is going to target Americus and Sumter County this fall and winter.
Thirty young innovators between 20 and 40 years old -- they're being called Young Gamechangers -- are being brought together to revision the community's future as a vibrant 21st century community and will kick off the seven-month effort Nov. 16 and 17.
One of the gamechangers is Denise Grabowski, president of the urban planning firm Symbioscity, which is based in Savannah. She's been a senior-level planner for local governments and a consultant to public and private companies.
Grabowski is a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council-Georgia, and co-founder of Designing4Health, a non-profit that works to increase understanding between design and public health.
“One of the things that attracted me to the program is that it connects talented people from around the state to work on change in a specific location,” she said. “I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I’ve been fortunate to work on both policy and physical design and to help create master plans around health concerns and transportation issues.
"This initiative aligns well with my profession and will allow me to utilize my skills to help.”
Grabowski said she and her cohorts will need to be mindful of engaging the local community in Americus and will remember that they are working with the community, not for it.
"My hope is that we set realistic, achievable goals and that the Young Gamechangers will stay actively involved,” she said.
Good luck to her and the rest of the group.