On April 29th we went to Washington DC to march on the white house. The plan was to completely surround the white house to raise awareness for global warming. The march itself was really hard. It was over 90 degrees and the streets were completely filled with people. Even though standing out in the sun all day took a lot out of me, I felt good to have helped raise awareness. It was a satisfying experience that I would like to do again in the future.
For my community service, I gave a tour of Union Square during alumni day. Everyday, when I walk to school, I pass through the Union Square train station. Before my tour, I never really took time to learn the history of the square. I wanted to educate the alumni. Me and three other peers worked to create an interesting and detailed tour of the historical site. The tour itself was one hour long, with multiple stops at a few of the many historical sites of Union Square. This community service made me realize how much history there is around us and that most people don’t take the time to really learn about their surroundings.
This Sunday, I volunteered to walk in the 2015 Aids Walk. The 10 kilometer walk started and ended in central park. Throughout the whole time I was inspired by the enormous crowd’s support in the fight for AIDS. Many of the groups who walked were doing it for deceased loved ones, which somewhat surprised me as I do not know anyone directly affected by AIDS so I did not think it was such a problem in the city. The walk raised $4,126,480 in total and over $139 million in the past thirty years. Everyone there was super motivated, especially the volunteers of the walk. They would always cheer as we walked by and thanked us for participating. This high energy atmosphere motivated me to finish and also really increased my awareness of AIDS and how people are fighting it. Now I know that AIDS does not have a cure yet but it is definitely treatable and possible to live with. With more amazing charities like this AIDS walk, a cure will surely be found.
For my nonprofit I chose DreamYard, a group aimed at helping children succeed through arts-based learning. Tessa, Jediah, Isabel and I went to visit there and a board member Abby Turk gave us a tour of their building in the Bronx. We interviewed multiple kids and a few interns and employees. They have their building there because they want to transform the community around them with helping children and hosting many events for families in the area. Some of the events are a movie night before the school starts where DreamYard gives the parents bookbags and notebooks and pencils to prepare them for school.
Initially I did not think that this was not so important because I just thought that I was teaching arts to children, but over the course of the project I realized that the arts are very important to them and can help them in their lives as well like getting them into colleges and giving them jobs. I thought the most challenging part was presenting because you had to have speaking skills which I am not so good at. I could still be engaged with my project by volunteering because they accept volunteers.