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Neither an end nor a beginning but a going on...

By Jessica Attas

As December settles in and the year draws to a close, it is a time for reflection on the year we

leave behind, and the work and year ahead. What an honor for me to have the opportunity to

step into this space and join the team at Prosper Waco in their important and impactful work.

Indeed, it has been a year of impactful work.

In 2022, in the work of always learning and refining, staff identified in literature, and as best

practices, seven core tenets of collective impact. As Prosper Waco’s Board of Directors went

through a strategic planning process to help articulate a vision for the organization, those seven

elements were affirmed as the guideposts for the work. Those seven elements are:

  • Develop a common agenda in each focus area

  • Establish shared measurements

  • Support mutually reinforcing activities

  • Promote continuous communication

  • Build public will and leadership

  • Mobilize funding

  • Advance public policy

In January, we will share our 2022 End of Year report which highlights specific work led by the

team in each of those core areas. As our recently retired former CEO Suzii March shared with

me, “Because of a talented staff and community support, Prosper Waco has built a true capacity

for analysis, implementation, and impact throughout Greater Waco.” When you read the end of

year report, you will also see the truth in those words and the positive impact Prosper Waco has

had on the community in this past year, and through Suzii’s tenure. I am grateful for Suzii’s work

and leadership, and the strong roots for the future she helped cultivate in Prosper Waco, for our


As we look to 2023, staff is committed to really focusing on the strategies laid out in our

strategic plan to positively impact greater Waco, with fidelity to those seven elements. While the

work is often organic and can’t always fit perfectly in neat process flow charts (much to my

Enneagram 1w9, J in my INFJ chagrin!), we are working to articulate what those processes are,

what are the steps we intentionally take to ensure all our work is closely tied to our strategic

plan and is integrating the known best practices and processes of collective impact, in alignment

and collaboration with community partners and stakeholders.

As we wrap up the year, I am reminded of the words of American naturalist and outdoorsman,

writer Hal Borland. Borland wrote, “Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on,

with all the wisdom experience can instill in us.” We close the year with gratitude for the wisdom

of experience, and excitement at the “going on,” and the opportunity to let the learnings of

experience inform and shape the future work and continued impact of Prosper Waco.

Jessica Attas is interim chief executive officer of Prosper Waco.


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