Waco, TX (FOX 44) — One Creative Waco leader is bringing the city national recognition for innovation and economic sustainability.

It’s a part of Creative Waco’s partnership with air collaborative bringing people together from all backgrounds, to creatively identify problems in the community and how to address them.

Soledad Bautista, Creative Waco director of professional development and outreach leads three day workshops for air collaborative to help English speakers accomplish this.

Recognizing language barriers for some in Waco, she translated the program into Spanish.

“Sometimes the language, when it gets too elaborate, it can make hard for for some people, and I wanted to make sure that it was going to be accessible for everyone,” said Bautista.

Participants in the workshop learn about design thinking, consensus, understanding your mindset, and resource gathering.

Bautista says translating the program allows more in the Waco community to better collaborate and have their voices heard.

“It upsets people the fact that English is not your first language or that it really creates discomfort in in certain spaces,” said Bautista. “For me, it’s a huge personal commitment that I have to highlight that intelligence has nothing to do with the language.”

Needs and problems identified in the English cohort meeting in July include highlighting businesses that are not well known, improving back to school projects, and how to better cover Waco’s history.

10 participants in the first Spanish cohort that met in October want to see more Spanish programing throughout the community.

Eric Terrazas with the Centex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is also a shift facilitator for these workshops.

He says this program, in addition to Escalando, helps bridge gaps in the Spanish community, and in turn the entire city.

I’m looking forward to seeing some of these projects come to fruition and it’s all for the betterment of the community.

The identified problems or issues in the community have to be solved within a year with a maximum budget of $10,000

Bautista says there are some donors willing to provide funds depending on what’s presented.

The next two cohorts will be open next year in the spring and summer.

To get involved in the workshops, or if you’re interested in serving as a translator or interpreter, you can contact Soledad at sol@creativewaco.org.