Meeting Minutes

 Summary | Discussion | Action Items

Introduction | Immersion Overview | Project Overview | WHDC Background | WCCRC Background | Client Q&A | Client Role | Wrap-up

September 18, 2002:First Client Meeting

Client - Kim Fodor, Konovia Mikeal
GMU - Kevin Clark, Karen Zolkiewicz, Marcella Simon, Soo Park, Tim Lewis, Shelton Jewette, Peter Huffer, Christina Glenn, Rebecca Clark, Andrea Chen, Amy Bolton, Steve Arrington

Absentees: N/A


This was the initial meeting between the NSF project team and the client—Kim Fodor and Konovia Mikeal. The objectives for this meeting were the following:

• Get to know one other
• Review project scope
• Discuss client’s role and expectations
• Obtain high-level understanding of Whitefield Commons Community Resource Center (WCCRC)
• Start the performance analysis

The following actions were to be taken after the meeting:

Kim Team
  • Send us potential staffing list
  • Send us follow report to yellow book
  • Schedule sub-group meetings with Kim
  • Post meeting summary

Project scope: This project is being funded by a grant from the NSF. The original grant deliverable was to conduct a Needs Assessment (NA) and to develop an instrument for measurement. Due to the addition of our team, the original deliverable has been expanded to include prototype development. The team will only work on the project until December; however, Kevin will continue until the term of the grant ends in July. Our team will post weekly status reports in which we will describe what progress has been made.
Client role and expectations: The client expressed their preferences for dealing with our team. Kim prefers to be the main point of contact and receive regular updates. Konovia, on the other hand, would rather meet with members of the team on an “as needed” basis. As to expectations, Kim wants us to be “hands-on” participants and interact 1-on-1 with residents. She wants us to focus on meeting all of the needs of the residents. Konovia wants to find out why people are/aren’t coming to the center. She wants a needs assessment to be done and an instrument to be developed in order to replicate it at other centers. She also wants to measure the effectiveness of technology integration in the programs.
High-level understanding: Through the client’s responses, our team was able to obtain a high-level understanding of the current state of WCCRC. The center primarily serves the residents of Whitefield Commons and Knightsbridge Apartments—a very diverse population—and offers youth and adult programs throughout the week. Additionally, community space is scheduled in the center for classes/programs offered in partnership with organizations such as the Literacy Council. The client would like to expand the center’s user base to include the entire Buckingham neighborhood, which is predominantly Hispanic. Though kids are the most consistent users, there is no core group. Fourteen computers are available for personal and skills development use. The center is open M-F 10-6:30 and also operates during nights/weekends. The client provided the team with contacts for the community and center-related personnel, as well as resource information on experts, literature, and records. (Further details can be found in the full notes of the meeting.) To become a model center, the client would like to emulate Edgewood Terrace in NE DC or Buckman Road in Alexandria.




  1. Kim Fodor - Whitefield Center Director
    1. Started working March 2000
  2. Konovia Mikeal - Director of Family Programs for Wesley Housing
    1. Just starting in this position
    2. Formerly Director of Adult Education
II. Overview of Immersion Program
  1. Way to get hands-on training
  2. NSF grant - build research

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III. Overview of Project
  1. Original grant deliverable = Needs Assessment (NA), instrument
    1. Timeline:
      1. Performance assessment will be first stage of NA (approx. 2 weeks)
      2. Team will post weekly status reports
      3. Team project ends in December
      4. Kevin will continue until term of gran ends in July 2003
    2. Nature of deliverable
      1. Working prototype
      2. Will consider options for solutions, both technology and non-technology based, however prototype is anticipated to be the former
  2. Now deliverable = original + prototype

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IV.  Background of Wesley Housing Development Corporation
  1.  501(c)3 NPO, designed to provide affordable housing for LMI areas
  2. Started by United Methodist, currently has 13-14 properties

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V.  Background of Whitefield Commons Community Resource Center (WCCRC)
  1. Owned and Operated by Wesley Housing
    1. Center opened October 2001
    2. Funded through Drug Elimination Grant of 2000
    3. Serves residents of Whitefield Commons and Knightsbridge Apts.
      1. 1-2 BR: cater to smaller family units
      2. Diverse resident population - African-American, Vietnamese, Hispanic, Somali, Caucasian
    4. Center located in bottom of Whitefield Commons Apt. complex
  2. Offers programs for youth and adult
    1. Modeled after existing courses at Lincolnia Center, community/resident meetings
    2. Youth - young kids, teens
      1. Kids: summer camp, after-school programs (M-F)
      2. Teens: leadership programs, volunteering, tutoring
    3. Adult - GED program, English classes, computer classes, computer open access, information referral
      1. Attendance during summer weak, highest during open lab time
  3. Located in Buckingham neighborhood of Arlington county
    1. Neighborhood residents predominantly South/Central American (El Salvador, Bolivia, Guatemala)
    2. Identified as one of Arlington county's Neighborhood Strategy Area

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VI.  Questions for Client
  1. Vision/mission - client expectations
    1. Wants us to be hands-on participants and interact 1-on-1 with residents
      1. Compile data through observations and interaction instead of questionnaires
      2. E.g. teach class, volunteer open access hours, not just collect data
      3. To gain residents' trust
      4. To get them to be more receptive 
    2. Wants us to be congruent with WCCRC's mission of responding to needs of residents
  2. Center
    1. Definition of "successful"
      1. Kim: participation, participant feedback, attendance, volunteer satisfaction
        • There are some general measures of program success (e.g. passing sections of GED)
        • Wants us to focus on computer open access
      2. Konovia: depends on the program, but largely repeat visitors
        • Wants needs assessment - Why aren't people coming? Why are they coming back? How can we keep them coming?
        • Wants instrument to measure to replicate at other centers
        • Wants to measure effectiveness of integration of technology into programs - when good, when not
    2. Hours of operation
      1. Office hours M-F 10-6:30
      2. Other hours during nights/weekends for classes/meetings
    3. Have 14 computers
      1. 9 in computer lab, 5 in main area
      2. computers used for both personal (e.g. e-mail, games, child monitoring?) and skills development
    4. No real core of users
      1. Mostly kids, teens are consistent users
      2. Adults vary and are inconsistent (e.g. young, single moms; traditional married Hispanic families; single Hispanic males)
    5. Possible reason for lack of use
      1. Resident
        • Don't have good participation from Whitefield property
      2. Community
        • Need continual outreach - inform neighborhood of center's existence (relatively new center)
        • Many people go to Buckingham Outreach Center run by Arlington county
    6. Community space scheduled in center
      1. Community has few/little meeting areas
      2. Space scheduled for groups like Delta Sigma Theta (Saturdays) and Lugar Hispano
    7. Lack of community space in Buckingham
      1. Partners with Literacy Council to offer GED
      2. Partners with HUD to offer classes
      3. Highly-used center
  3. Community associations and leaders
    1. Buckingham Neighborhood Committee
      1. Meets once a month
    2. NSA planner
    3. Tenant association for Gates of Arlington
    4. Churches
  4. Resources - expert, literature, records
    1. Experts
      1. Model centers - Edgewood Terrace in NE DC, Buckman Road in Alexandria (Mary Cabrielle)
      2. Aspen Systems - tech vendor(?)
      3. Arlington tech guy
      4. Designer of mock center website
    2. Literature
      1. Neighborhood Networks
      2. Benton Foundation
      3. CTCNet
    3. Records
      1. Demographics
        • Census data for Buckingham, MSA - estimanted 8k people living in area
        • Arlington Neighborhood Strategy Area Plan
      2. User data
        • Records for class
          • Pre-tests, post-tests, evaluations
          • Stored in paper format, no current database in use
        • Attendance matrix: What are you good at? What do you want to learn?
      3. Grants
        • Outcomes (i.e. Drug Elimination Grant)
        • Evaluation - (want to improve!)
          • Community center success for grants (did you do what you said you were going to do?)
          • Participation expectation
      4. Want to improve tracking through use of a database (chance to develop!)
  5. Job incumbents - people linked with WCCRC
    1. Staff
      1. Paid
      2. Volunteer
        • Mt. Olivet church
        • Volunteers run the programs/classes at the center
        • Classes scheduled according to volunteer availability
        • Spanish skills a plus if volunteering, though there may be a need for Vietnamese, other speakers
        • High turnover with volunteers
        • Sources
          • flyers
          • newspaper
          • GMU social work students
          • local church leader - helps source volunteers - they work closely with them
          • Volunteer Bureau of Arlington
          • Americorp
    2. Advisory Board
      1. Meets monthly?
      2. Kevin is a member
      3. Neighborhood Networks
      4. Interested in creating a neighborhood advisory board so the neighborhood feels ownership in making the organization successful (same as Neighborhood Networks?)
    3. Resident advisory board

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VII.  Client Role in Project
  1. Konovia
    1. Hands-off; as needed
  2. Kim
    1. Would like regular updates (weekly status reports)
    2. Would like to see members of team at center from time to time, yet not all together
  Kim Fodor Konovia Mikeal
Telephone: 703-465-5001 703-642-3830 x211
Fax: 703-465-5055 703-642-1064
IX.  Wrap-up
  1. Additional questions

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Kim Team
  • Send us potential staffing list
  • Send us follow report to yellow book
  • Schedule sub-group meetings with Kim
  • Post meeting summary

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