On march 12th, I went with a part of my classmates to volunteer at AFYA. AFYA is a organization that collects medical supplies, sort them, and then sends them to places that are needed such as refugee camps. It was a interesting experience for me. When we first got there, we all got gloves our size. Then, we stood over two large table in lines. There, the volunteers at AFYA tells us about about the organization, there we got straight to work. We have to sort the supplies by the same catergory, then we put the expiration date and the amount of the product on the bag. We continued this for about two hours. It is always amazing to me how fast we worked and how much product there was. Overall I really liked this experience; however, I feel it would be better if they told us more about this organization and its purpose before we just dive to work. I feel we would be more motived. Another suggestion would be thinking of new ways to take care of the product that were not selected. When we are packing, we only pack things with one year within expired date, and throws out the ones that don’t fit the standard. We threw out tons of products that could still be used. Maybe we can give it to a local sanctuary to help more people?
When I was in 8th grade last year I attended Lunar New Year. I enjoyed the night very much, so this year I decided to attend again. I started out the night folding paper. After this, I began preparing each table for guests. Soon they began to arrive, so I and one other were sent upstairs to man the “Chopsticks Race” table. Everybody that I had come there with agreed that they had a good time helping out.
During the service day with Earth Matters we were given several options of things to do. I decided to assemble park benches. That is what I and a small group of others did for a few hours. During the assembly we had a good time talking about random things. I realized from this experience that service is not just about helping others and good will, it is about community and fun.
This year, I spent service day with most of my grade sorting out medical supplies that would be exported to people who were in need. We sorted out as many supplies as possible, as well as being extra careful with the process of separating the goods with expiration dates too soon to be allowed to be sent. One of the main takeaways from this experience was how impactful our few hours’ work would be to many lives. Since there were so many of us working, we were able to help the organization finish a day or two-day’s worth of work on their own. Although the individual task was not overwhelming, the group’s production was very high due to the collectiveness of the work and the great cooperativeness of my classmates. This experience opened me up to the service of those in medical need, something I will seek to continue doing in the future. Likewise, service day allowed for an increased chemistry between my classmates and helped me experience collective work at a grand scale. It was wonderful to see all my classmates and I efficiently working together to help those in need by speeding up the process prior to the exportation.
Since I was able to visit the organization my group represented, I was able to understand the full scope and mission they supported. We were welcomed in and toured around the facilities. We saw actual patients successfully receiving help from the organization’s staff.
I was exposed to the idea of nonprofit organizations and how they strive help our communities. This experience was a gateway that lead me to be interested in helping out and advocating for the unfortunate unite in our community. I think that I would like to be active with my organization I chose for the YPI project.
Service is a way of connecting to the community, and making a change in it greatly affects a large amount of people as a whole. This change is your giving back, and your effort to change the world. Service is a responsibility that all people should be active in doing, but it can also be a call. What’s most important is if you enjoy the service, and are happy about the changes you may make.
My favorite part of this year was taking the global education trip to Morocco this spring. While there we were able to explore the history, culture, and politics of the nation. Our trip was focused on not being the “typical tourist” endeavor, and as such we consciously avoided largely trafficked area and instead visited smaller shops. Throughout the trip we stopped at many workshops where artisans gathered to make goods, but the most memorable of these was a women’s center where women with skills taught other women in need of income (originally older women and widows, but it expanded to include younger women) how do make different foods and crafts. While at the center I was able to observe and eventually participate in the creation of couscous (which is a pasta; not a grain), the center we visited was directly responsible for the educating of dozens of women and indirectly responsible for even more though the centers they paved the way for.
I specifically loved the global education trip to Morocco because I got to form a more personal relationship with the places we visited by trying to not be a “typical tourist”; I was able to speak to people in stores in a language that wasn’t my own (something that was noticed and appreciated) and even picked up some Arabic from the experience. Also because our intent was to experience all facets of the culture I was given the opportunity to learn about and meet some people of the Amazigh culture and hear about Moroccan culture and history from a different perspective.
This year, I went to the Women’s March on Washington on January 20th. I went with a friend and my mother on a bus organized by a group of nuns from New York City there and back. It was such an amazing experience to be surrounded by so many people standing together for one cause. It was especially empowering as a woman to travel there with a group of women, familiar and unfamiliar, all fighting for our rights together. I am so happy that I got the chance to be a part of something bigger than myself and protest against a presidency that I along with the thousands of people that attended think goes against social liberties and freedoms in our country.
A photo from the march
One of the most memorable service events that I attended this year was the People’s Climate March in Washington DC. As the leader of SEED and a citizen of planet earth, I view protecting the planet as critical. Attending the People’s Climate March in Washington allowed me the opportunity to voice my opinion about the importance of environmental protection.
The primary objective of the march was to protest Trump’s un-environmental policies. Marching in DC was rewarding in that I felt that I was not alone in my beliefs, and I felt a sense of unity with the individuals marching. I was inspired by the community of people speaking out, and I felt like we have the ability to fix the climate crisis if we work together.
Here is a picture of the group of students and teachers and parents that attended the march:
In January of 2017, my father and I flew to Washington DC for the Women’s March on Washington.
The Women’s March on Washington was a March that took place the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. It was a March in which we marched in solidarity with the women of the US because of our new president and his masaugonist tendencies.
As well, it was somewhat a protest against Donald Trump in general, as we felt his election was a horrible development in the state of the USA.
Even though we were both white men, we felt it was incredibly necessary for men like us to show solidarity for women and other oppressed groups in the United States on such a rough time for those groups. As well, it was incredibly eye-opening to see how people could come together at such a rough time.
This summer, I volunteered at the Children’s Museum of the Arts. CMA is “a nonprofit arts facility that brings hands-on art programming to children throughout New York City” (CMA Website). During the summer, CMA has classes at their main facility in West Soho, and classes on Governors Island that are held in what used to be U.S. Naval Officer housing.
This was my third summer volunteering at CMA which offers a wide variety of arts classes. I assisted with three, weeklong film classes on Governors Island. Classes was based around teaching kids, ages 7-13, an animating computer program called iStopmotion.
Each day, I helped chaperone the kids to and from Governors Island. I was put in-charge of workstations and groups and assisted kids if they had questions. This helped me gain a better sense of effectively teaching kids and also furthered my understanding of iStopmotion and filming techniques.
When I was younger, I took classes at CMA, so it has been very rewarding to teach kids and help them have the same experiences I had. It was also nice to learn that some of the kids taking the class were lower school students at Friends. Overall, it was a great experience taking on a larger role in helping younger kids express themselves through new forms of art.