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Lyons Community Center Programming Research

Francesca Antonucci

Francesca Antonucci, William Smith '10
Public Policy Major
Sociology and Education Minor

"Lyons Community Center recently opened a new community center and about a year ago they brought on a Program Director to oversee the services offered at the community center. Prior to his hiring, the community center was only being used by Lyons High School which is located directly next to the facility. John, the Program Director, brought us in to determine what types of programs members of the Lyons community were interested in, in order to ensure that the Lyons Community Center was meeting the needs of the community."

What were your goals for the project?

  • We surveyed community members asking about their interests and how much they would be willing to pay for programs.
  • Afterwards we complied a report and outlined a marketing strategy for them in order to help publicize the programs offered by the community center.

What did you hope to accomplish?

"We hoped to gain a better understanding of the needs and wants of the community, if individuals would be willing to volunteer and how much they would be willing to pay for programs. Hopefully the Board of Directors at the Lyons Community Center will use our findings and rely on our data to develop future programs that will help them to better meet the needs of the community."

What did you learn from this project?

"We learned that while individuals felt that the community center was meeting their needs they would prefer for more programs to be included. We found out that over 50% of survey respondents were willing to volunteer at the community center and people were willing to pay for programs and were interested in an annual membership fee which is currently not being offered by the Community Center. In addition, our findings showed them that they can generate revenue through charging higher fees for programs which would enable them to offer more programs" - Francesca Antonucci

How has this project affected you?

"This project was really interested because we were required to develop it entirely from start to finish including the research design, proposal, writing the survey, distributing the survey, analysis and final report. Most beneficial was knowing that our research was helping a community partner as it was a community based research project and therefore our results were significant to the way that they communicate with community members and the programs they will offer in order to help foster a sense of community within Lyons. Lastly, by working with community members, Professor Harris held us to high standards that would be required had we been completing the research in the business world which helped us to develop our presentation and writing skills as well as the sense of professionalism with which we approached the project." - Francesca Antonucci