The Friendship Circle Camp 2014

Dana Franco Summer Service Reflection

This summer I volunteered at The Friendship Circle summer camp for one week along with other eleventh graders at Friends, Jane Acierno, Nell Pearson and Laura Michael. The Friendship Circle is an organization that creates fun opportunities for children with autism to interact with one another and their counselors. During the year, Friendship Circle holds two programs: Friends at Home and Sunday Circle. Friends at Home is a program where teenage volunteers go to their child’s home once a week for an hour and have the opportunity to learn more about their lives at home and have fun. Sunday Circle meets twice a month at the organization’s building, on 19th street between 6th and 7th avenues, where the kids and volunteers unite in soccer, karate, and other fun activities. During the camp this summer, each volunteer was assigned to a child at The Friendship Circle camp and helped them throughout the week. We alternated each day between indoor activities and fun field trips. By the end of the camp, I really bonded with my buddy Ava.

Going into Friendship Circle I was slightly nervous and unsure of what to expect. My friends Jane, Nell and Laura had completed the camp before so they were able to tell me a little more of what the camp would be like. After meeting my buddy, I soon discovered she loved to sing, work on arts and crafts projects, and run around in the camp’s outdoor water area filled with sprinklers and water toys. On field trip days, Ava liked touring the intrepid and exploring the museum’s interactive exhibits. Overall, I enjoyed my time with Ava and the other campers and hope to see them again next summer.

I encourage anyone to sign up at:!

Dana’s Service Reflection

Throughout this year, I attended several meetings and became a part of the young women’s collation “Stop Slut” with three other sophomores, Soren Grunder, India Woolmington and Willa CT. The organizers of the Stop Slut conference, Katie Cappiello & Meg McInerney who are the founders and directors of The Arts Effect NYC, are committed to our understanding and critiquing the ways the word “slut” is used to target women in society. In the collation, we were split into groups based on school and challenged to create our own project to raise awareness about the negative impact of the word slut. The Friends Seminary group began our project by interviewing New York City locals in Union Square for a short film we are in the process of creating. This experience was eye opening to see the wide range of answers to the questions and scenarios we posed to a diverse group of people.

Here’s a short clip from our first day working in Union Square:

Overall, I’ve loved working with the Stop Slut coalition and have learned so much about important and prevalent issues in society such as trafficking and slut shaming. It’s such an amazing environment to be around girls our age who are as passionate about these issues as we are.