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Community Survey Results!

We have been working on a community survey to help us understand you all better, grow relationships, and build programs. We want to share the results with you all. If you have any questions or want to fill our a survey please reach out to us, and we would be happy to assist you with anything. Thanks, and hope all is well!

Aurora Strong Resilience Center

Community Survey Results – May 2017

Purpose: Push desired programs to forefront, figure out what is going well and what isn’t, build relationships with our clients and community, find ways to improve our services, and reflect on the results to find our strengths and weaknesses.

Who designed? Survey designed by Program Coordinator Marc Garstka and Intern Reed Haight

Time frame: February 23, 2017-Present

How the survey was completed, tools used to complete: Survey was administered to community members who live around our building in the community, who use our building, and walk in clients. The survey is only in print and can completed with pen or pencil. No electronic version is available yet. Survey can be completed in our building or taken home and brought back. Survey was also available in Spanish. We didn’t leave surveys in mailboxes or mail any out. Everybody who started a survey completed it, although some answers were left blank. Distribution of the survey will continue until the end of the summer.

Total number of surveys delivered # 50 % completed 100%

Female: 76% Male: 24%

White: 43% Black: 48% Latino/a: 9% Other 0%

Total Age Range Between: 15-85       Average Age: 56

What issues are important in your community?

Mental Health: 90%

Education: 90%

Police Relationships: 57%

Food and Nutrition: 52%

Sports: 52%

Other: Music

What Programs have you attended?

Education: 48%

Health: 43%

Mental Health: 29%

Fitness: 19%

Crafts: 10%

Trainings: 5%

Party: 10%

How useful was this program?

Very Useful: 95% Somewhat useful: 5%

What kind of programs are you interested in?

Mental Health: 38%

Education: 38%

Health: 33%

Trainings: 33%

Fitness: 24%

Crafts: 19%

Music: 5%

What would make programs more accessible to you?

Food and beverage supplied: 24%

Child care: 14%

Wheel chair access: 10%

Language services: 10%

What is the best way for ASRC to inform you about programs?

Phone: 38%

Email: 19%

Social media: 29%

Calendar: 5%


“I love this place. I come here and volunteer and it just feels like home.”

“I would like to see the YMCA diabetes program expanded. In June I’ll be finished the program I started last July which has been absolutely great for me. I would like something to reinforce what I’ve learned so far.”

“I am 80 year old and enjoy everything I have had an experience here. Also the people are so friendly and Steven who does acupuncture is wonderful. Thank you all.”

Service Survey Results:

How would you rate your experience at the ASRC? 4.77

How satisfied are you with the variety or resource we can provide?  4.64

How would you rate the knowledgeability of the staff? 4.62

How would you rate the overall atmosphere of the ASRC? 4.73

How satisfied are you with the different classes we offer? 4.55

Did ASRC meet your expectations? Yes: 71% No: 0%

Did the staff welcome you when you arrived? Yes: 95% No: 5%

Do staff members seem to be interested in you? Yes: 64% No: 0%

Was there something about your experience that you found particularly satisfactory?

“diabetes class and free acupuncture/” “the classes” “Openness to the community” “this is a place of learning, helping the community with information for their needs” “compassion about the staff” “just that everyone is caring and interesting”

Was there something that was unsatisfactory?

“just that the instructors didn’t show up” “I took tai chi here once and the instructor asked my father (Stephen Bert) to have me not return fyi I was post operative back fatision patient”

Any other comments:

“Thank you for allowing us and the community to gather in this safe place” “More employees, more youth coming in”

Overview – How this information will be used.


This information that we have been gathering is important to ASRC for many reasons. The results are from our clients and our community and we take what they have to say very seriously as we are here for them and want to have programs that they need and want. The voices of the people we serve are heard in this survey and we will be creating, sustaining, and developing further programs based on what we learn from them. From the results we can make changes to how we interact with clients, what we provide, and how we provide the services we offer. Another key from this survey is the knowledge we gained about our community and clients. We also were able to build relationships with people who might not have be aware of who we are, and in turn have spread our reach farther. The survey was essential to the growth of ASRC, and will continue to provide valuable data to help us continue to serve Aurora and the community.

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Volunteer Recognition Event

On April 27, in collaboration with Aurora Youth Options, we held a volunteer recognition event. The purpose of this event was to celebrate and thank all the amazing volunteers we have had over the past year. The party was held at Moe’s BBQ in Aurora, and if you have never been in there before you need to go. Amazing atmosphere, food, service, and fun! We are thankful for being able to partner with a local business to celebrate. The volunteers were recognized with certificates of appreciation, free food, and free bowling. Our volunteers contribute enormously to our success, and many of the programs would not be able to happen without them. Their dedication to us and the community is truly inspiring, and the work they do helps many community members in Aurora. All of our programs are ran by volunteers who dedicate themselves to the community and others. This concept has helped our community grow and feel empowered as they can take ownership of our center. The programs are led with the community and resilience  in mind. The Aurora Strong Resilience Center can’t thank all of our volunteers enough, you are the reason we do what we do. THANK YOU!

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Holiday Party

On December 6th the Aurora Strong Resilience Center in collaboration with Aurora Youth Options, Transitioning Age Youth, and The Hoffman Rec Center held a holiday party for the community.  It was a great turn out as about 150 people attended!  The party was unique because it wasn’t centered around one specific holiday, and it captured many cultures and celebrations all in one. Each room was designated for a different activity.  We had karaoke, music and dancing, arts and crafts, food, plenty of food, prize give away, and other fun activities for the whole family.  The building is decorated with lights and other festive decorations are still up, so stop in to check them out!  We were so happy that we could provide this great night for the community, and that so many people took time out of their busy life to relax and celebrate with us. We appreciate the support, and are happy to host.  A big shout out to Riana Mitchell of AYO as she was the head of the party planning committee and did a great job ensuring the event ran smoothly and that everybody had a great time.  Please keep an eye out in the future for other events we host.

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Meet New Program Coordinator Marc Garstka

Hello Friends!  My name is Marc Garstka, and I am the new program coordinator for the Aurora Strong Resilience Center.  I am very excited to start this position, and look forward to meeting and working with each of you.  I want to share with you all a little bit about me. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago called La Grange Park where my passion for sports and people started.  Ever since high school I knew I wanted to work with people in some way or another.  I went on to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa where I ran track and field for the Bulldogs and studied secondary education focusing in Social Studies and Coaching.  After I graduated I decided to join the Peace Corps and I taught English and Math for two years in a town called Kabala, Sierra Leone.  It was from that experience I knew I wanted to go into social work and find a job working with communities. When I got back to the states I coached and taught for another year in my hometown before moving to Denver for graduate school.  I finished my Masters of Social Work in June of 2016 from the University of Denver. My concentration was in children and youth, and I received my certificate in animal assisted social work.  I am currently working on getting my furry friend, Kona, certified to be a therapy dog so she can come to work and meet all of you as well.  Since starting this new position I have fell in love with Aurora and all the people who live here.  If you are in the area please stop by as I would love to meet you, and talk about how the Resilience Center can better support the community. Please know that I am here for you all, and that anybody is welcome here.  I will always do my best for you, and do anything I can to better this community! Thanks, hope all is well and look forward to the future! If you would like to contact me please call 303 617 2667 or 303 739 1580 or email me at marcgarstka@aumhc.org

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New classes!

Hello everyone!  It’s finally moving into autumn and the leaves are not the only ones changing.  Aurora Strong Resilience has new classes and opportunities on the horizon.  Starting next week we have two new therapy groups for the community.  The first is a grief and loss group run by Monica Pressley and Kristen McGeehon.   This group will be going on every Thursday from 2-3pm and will focus on coping skills, mutual support and finding resiliency during difficult times.  This group requires registering with Monica and you can either email her at monicapressley@aumhc.org or give her a call at 303-739-1581.  The second is simply called The Thursday Group also run by Monica Pressley and Kristen McGeehon.  The Thursday Group is a therapy group which uses building on past success, focusing on what a person wants and creating a safe and productive environment for counseling.  This group will be happening 4-6pm starting next week.  This group requires registration as well so just contact Monica Pressley to get involved with the group!

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Our very first Beading With Monica class!

This week marks our first Beading with Monica class where we all successfully created one earring! We were hoping for two but teaching beading is more challenging than Monica thought. Thankfully, with great company, lots of laugher and patience we all had a great time and still had something to show for our time at the end of the class! Next week, we’ll have a pair! Come and join us while we laugh and make jewelry together. Check back in on the blog next week for pictures!  Below is an example of what we made and will be making next week.