Watsonville NETworX to hold open house

Watsonville NETworX participants and staff enjoyed a family outing to see the Santa Cruz Warriors on Dec. 1. (Contributed photo)

WATSONVILLE — Watsonville NETworX is inviting the community to attend its open house event Jan. 18 at the Watsonville First United Methodist Church.

The nonprofit, which is a national organization headquartered in Carson City, Nev., has operated in Watsonville since 2016. The aim of the organization is to bring families and individuals of all socio-economic backgrounds together to help people out of poverty.

Jan. 18’s open house is meant to introduce people to the program — giving an overview of how it works and the services it offers.

“We want people to be comfortable asking questions,” said NETworX coordinator Mayra Bernabe. “Some people may be unsure; is this the right organization for them? This will be a safe space where we can get together and discuss these things.”

In addition to a program interview, past participants (dubbed “Champions of Change”) of the program will tell their personal stories and give testimonials about their experiences working with NETworX.

The open house is open to everyone, including middle-class citizens who might be interested in working with and supporting Champions throughout their journey (“Community Allies”).

“You have an option to sign up as a participant or an ally,” Bernabe said. “They’re equally as important to NETworX’s success.”

Last month, Watsonville NETworX graduated its fourth class of participants. Informal interviews, where staff sits down for one-on-one sessions with interested parties, will be held the week following the open house, and a brand new class will begin on Feb. 8.

“What I hope people get from this program is self-discovery,” Bernabe said. “They get skills, they learn to create and set goals — and that can give a person a lot of self-esteem and respect for themselves.”

The open house will be held on Jan. 18 from 6-8 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 229 Stanford St. A tour of the church, where NETworX operates from, will follow the speeches. Free child care and dinner will be provided.

For information, call 724-4434 or visit Watsonville NETworX’s official Facebook page.

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