As an AmeriCorps VISTA Shawn Summerville is instrumental in the planning and execution of multiple projects here at LCCC. Shawn also coordinates all volunteer projects here at LCCC and at our Early Childhood Development Center MiniVersity.
Shawn has been recognized for his impactful work in the Louisville community receiving recognition as a Corporate Honored Volunteer by UPS Airlines at the prestigious Bell Awards. We interviewed Shawn about how it felt to be honored and his passion for community service.
MB: How does it feel to be recognized as a Corporate Honored Volunteer by UPS Airlines at the Bell Awards?
SS: To receive recognition was both appreciated and unexpected. I think of myself as more of a behind the scenes type of guy but to be acknowledged by executive management for the volunteer work that I do is nice and inspiring.
MB: What sparked your interest in serving the community?
SS: I was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago by my mother in a single parent home. I credit my mother for instilling in me at a young age a trust in God, compassion for others, and the concept that your actions speak louder than your words. I have carried these teachings with me throughout my life.
While I have always considered myself a thinker who finds interest in improvement, earning a degree in Urban Planning provided a great foundation for the path I am on in life. I have always found interest in creating change in policy and also helping people see that they have individual responsibility to make things better in their community. No matter how successful you become in life you have the opportunity to reach back and give back.
MB: Of all the projects you are involved in which are you most passionate about and why?
SS: All of the projects that I have been involved in are equal and touch on different but equally important matters. The bigger projects I have worked on such as MiniVersity I would love to see continue to progress. The smaller projects are just as important and while they may touch different people they are all connected to a bigger picture.
Economic Summit, MiniVersity, Ali Blvd, and the upcoming Wedding Show all provide opportunities and help support the vision of economic development. It all connects!
MB: What is your hope for Russell and the West End?
SS: I hope to see Russell and the West End self-gentrified. I see the West End becoming a diverse economic engine to help promote, grow, and develop our community along with the rest of Louisville. Change is happening and the community should benefit from the social and financial investments taken place in Louisville.
The same opportunities that presented themselves in the development of Nulu and Downtown I want to take shape in the West End all the while maintaining a level of authenticity and a true reflection of a dynamic culture. I see the West End becoming a destination site, an engine for economic tourism; locally, regionally, and internationally. It is my hope that the diverse culture of the West End continue to be represented and that the people who live in the West End are able to benefit from the positive changes that are embarking.