On January 25, the Saint Paul District Councils hosted the annual Neighborhood Honor Roll event at the University of Saint Thomas. Each District Council recognized three people from their communities who are working hard for their neighborhoods.
The Summit-University Planning Council received six nominations for the honor roll this year and selected three incredible neighbors:
Marvin Scroggins grew up in the Rondo Neighborhood and graduated from Central High School. He moved away and lived in California for a number of years before he came back home.
Marvin has been a dedicated member of the Rondo Community and Summit-University Neighborhood for many years. He is a board member of Reconnect Rondo, Rondo Inc., active in the Rondo Days Celebration, and CPA for ASANDC and Rondo Inc. He is on numerous other boards and organizations in the community.
He is a kind person, and his attitude is uplifting. He is generous with his time and can often be found volunteering at community events. He is a great role model to people of all ages in our community.
Marvin is the perfect example of commitment to improving the quality of life in our neighborhood and so deserving of this recognition.
(Noel Nix accepted this award on behalf of Marvin at the event)
Summit University resident Nancy Heege serves on the leadership team of Unity Church-Unitarian’s Obama Elementary Outreach Team. Nancy’s dedication to helping recruit and organize volunteers is at the core of the work required to serve the needs of the scholars and staff at Obama Elementary.
Through this team effort, volunteers have provided countless hours of tutoring at the school, served in the library processing and reshelving books, created a Cub Foods gift card program for families needing additional support with groceries, provided snacks for teacher and staff meetings, helped clean and maintain the park behind the school, provided planters at the main entrance, held winter clothing collections, helped with the Scholastic book fair, and are now organizing Box Top collections.
Each Sunday the ministers at Unity Church speak these words: “When we live lives of integrity, service, and joy, generosity is sure to follow.” Nancy’s work with the Obama Elementary Outreach Team embodies these words, and her generosity helps enrich our entire community.
mk nguyen is a Viet mother and community auntie based in the Frogtown-Rondo neighborhoods of St. Paul. She holds great value for raising her child in the same place that raised her. Growing up, she was taught that her life and stories were insignificant and not worth sharing. As an adult, she practices self- study. This has helped her recover her deeply beautiful roots, and now she thinks her life and stories are hilarious. She also shares the same birthday with Harvey Kietel and Stevie Wonder.
She cut her teeth into organizing with the League of Pissed Off Voters and learned from witnesses young people inject themselves in the electoral process. She then moved to the Bay Area and learned from too many people to list here about the power of young people organizing to shift culture, systems, practices, policies, and budgets. In 2014, she returned home to St. Paul, with her sweetheart, Thaiphy, and two canine kiddos, Tator Tot and Rowley, to be closer to family.
Now, she spends most of her time mothering, healing, recovering Viet knowledge production, paying attention to what young people in Twin Cities/Minnesota are teaching us about this world, consolidating networks of social and political support for young people connected to Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, and supporting local and broad movement towards regenerative economy. Her heart moves faster than her brain. To protect her heart, she surrounds herself with loving, thoughtful people who eat her cooking and help her articulate her heart into words.
The Porchlite is a monthly newsletter and blog that is developed by the SUPC Communications Committee.