What do Gappers actually "do"? What are their functions?

Deb Wisniewski
Deb Wisniewski
@deb-wisniewski
6 years ago
135 posts

We recently started a conversation about what Gappers are. The conversation revolved around who actually is a gapper - in general, we defined a gapper as an individual who works in the gap between community and institutions.

Usually the gapper is employed by an institution - that institution may be trying to look at their organization's mission and work from an ABCD perspective and as a result, is encouraging their staff to bridge the gap between community and institution. In other cases, the gapper may be flying "under the radar," trying to bridge that gap regardless of the institution that employs him/her.

We also discussed the differences between connector and gapper....

To try to help us all clarify what we mean when we talk about gappers, it may help for us to discuss this question: What do gappers actually "do"? Another way of asking this might be: What are the functions of a gapper?

Feel free to give examples, share stories, etc. Looking forward to hearing from you all.....


updated by @deb-wisniewski: 04/10/20 05:45:51PM
Deb Wisniewski
Deb Wisniewski
@deb-wisniewski
6 years ago
135 posts

It seems to me, Bob, that the word "relationships" captures a key aspect of the work that you do, as well as that of other Gappers. You build relationships within the institution you work for, with people at other institutions, and the youth of the community that you work with. Then connecting or building bridges based on those relationships can lead to real change... And I know it's not about connecting youth to "programs" - it really is about that relationships and working to be sure that is is youth- and community-driven.

Teryn Heckers
Teryn Heckers
@teryn-heckers
6 years ago
5 posts

Wow! I am so excited that I joined this group. I'm new to the ABCD method and didn't know that there is a term for the kind of job I do. I've been feeling very lost trying to figure out how my job fits into ABCD, which seems very focused on utilizing people and other assets outside of big institutions.

Deb Wisniewski
Deb Wisniewski
@deb-wisniewski
6 years ago
135 posts

And we're so glad you're here! I hope you will expire the other "gapper" articles and conversations and add your perspective. We'd love to hear more about your work - the type of organization you work for and the work that you do...

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