For the 9th grade YPI service project, my team chose inaccessibility to early education as our social issue, and the organization that we represented was the Bloomingdale Family Program, whose mission is “to serve preschool children from low-income families in upper Manhattan.”
At first, inaccessibility to early education might not seem as important of a social issue as those that have a more immediate effect on people, such as hunger or homelessness. Before the project, I had never really thought about how lucky I am to have received a good education starting at a young age. However, over the course of the project I learned the impacts a quality early education can have on people’s lives. It can allow children to get into a good high school, a good college, and, when they are older, a good job. All children, regardless of where they are born, should have an equal chance in the world.
While researching, however, we found that this is not the case in New York City. Poorer neighborhoods tend to have worse schools, meaning that a child’s future can be determined simply by where they live. We decided that this should not be the case, and that is why we wanted to represent an organization that helps with this social issue.
One of the most challenging parts of the project was organization: making sure that everyone in our group helped out and that everything got done by the deadlines. Some of the work needed to be done outside of History, so it was important for us to figure out a way to divide up the work.
Other challenges were researching our issue, picking out important information, and making an effective website and presentation. In order to make a convincing presentation and website, I learned that you need to have the perfect balance between not having too much text, which can lose people’s attention, and still getting all of your points across. I think that our team did a good job of accomplishing this, especially with the presentation, and I developed research and prioritization skills along the way.