For the past five months, I have been serving on the Robin Hood Foundation Teen Council. The Robin Hood Foundation works to fund and support organizations that strive to eradicate poverty within New York City. Many of these organizations include City Harvest, Program for the Survivors of Torture, and BRC. Robin Hood is the largest organizations that fights poverty in New York City. In the past 25 years, it has given away over 1 billion dollars in order to support low-income New Yorkers. The Teen Council at Robin Hood works to educate teenagers within New York City about the organization, poverty within New York, and other organizations Robin Hood supports. Each meeting, there is a different speaker or topic, in order for high schoolers to be educated about different issues relating to poverty.
Working with the Teen Council has been a truly influential experience for me. I began very unsure of whether I would be interested or not. However, as I learned about different groups I realized that poverty within New York City is not simply food pantries and homeless shelters. I was very narrow minded before. When the Program for the Survivors of Torture spoke to us in March, the head of social work described the countless needs for someone who is in poverty in New York. It is not just a home or food, but for many people, it is necessary to have legal support, a mental health professional, a job, and physical health care. He talked about the need for hope within the city. I came out of that Teen Council meeting in awe with not only how fortunate I am, but also with how much there is to think about when eradicating poverty. By funding so many organizations that cover so many different issues, Robin Hood creates sustainable change. In a city where it is easy to think that poverty is too large of an issue to rid of, Robin Hood provides a bit of hope. This organization has allowed me to realize how passionate I am about issues relating to poverty, and allowed me to ask questions about certain systems that could put people in poverty around me. I am extremely excited to be on the Teen Council next year.