Skye’s Summer Service

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica and volunteer. I travelled with Rustic Pathways on their “Heart of the Jungle” program for two weeks around the area of Osa Peninsula. During the two weeks I was there, I participated in various community service projects; there was no main project, unfortunately. However, some of the volunteer work I did involved painting bathrooms at an elementary school, making and installing a cement floor for a family’s house, gardening at an elderly home, painting fences, cleaning up community playgrounds, and collecting garbage from the beaches surrounding the Pacific Ocean. Besides volunteering, we also ventured through villages and kayaked around small islands. Overall the trip was a good experience since I had never been to Costa Rica before, and not only did I enjoy what Costa Rica had to offer, but I also gave back to the community too.

Throughout my trip there were many highlights, but in particular one of my favorite parts of the trip was when my group and I cleaned up the community playgrounds. It was my decision to go on a trip where community service was involved, I could’ve chosen to go on a trip that involved no volunteer work, but I didn’t want that. What made my trip so meaningful and special to me was the volunteer work my group accomplished and completed there. When we were cleaning the community playgrounds, I felt a certain kind of gratitude and fulfillment because I still see myself as a kid and I know that kids are influenced by the tiniest influences. So, removing garbage such as an opened condom wrapper or cigarette butts made me feel better because I knew that the kids playing on these playgrounds wouldn’t have to see such images at a young age. Besides the volunteer work I did in Costa Rica, I also do panels and have participated in a documentary, “The Big Picture:Rethinking Dyslexia.” As a dyslexic I don’t want to be held back because of people who don’t understand my learning difference, so I spread the word around to other dyslexics so that they won’t let their school hold themselves back too. My life speaks through my actions, and so far my life has been pretty great.

Skye Lucas YPI Service

Skye Lucas

History 9

5/8/14

For this years 9th grade community service project we participated in the Youth Philanthropist Initiative. My group’s social issue was HIV/Aids, so we choose Housing Works. Before we began our project, we had a good idea of what HIV/Aids were and that this was a social issue in NYC because it effected and effects many people. After we began our research, we discovered many new things about HIV/Aids and decided that Housing Works, out of other nonprofit options, was the organization we felt was best for adressing this social issue. Before our organized visit to Housing Works, we knew briefly what Housing Works was and their cause, but after the visit we learned that there was much more to the organization. After our visit, we learned about the Housing Works community, the shelters, the shops, the employees, and more. Representing Housing Works was definitely a big deal, for our group really wanted to present them as best as we could, because our visit really informed us that Housing Works was true and dedicated to HIV/Aids. Before investing in our project, we were really clueless about our social issue, and this project definitely opened our eyes about HIV/Aids and the effect it has on NYC as a community.

By participating in this project, my skills in communication, research, and partnership have definitely improved on a large scale. In order to have had success in our project, our group needed to agree on the social issue we were presenting, the orgranization that coresponded with our social issue, and we had to moniter that we all were participating equally and communicating with one another. After setting up the base of our project, a challange we faced was creating a date to meet with the employees of Housing Works, since all members of our group had to be present. For our presentation, we all worked hard together to collect information, fact check, organize the information, and present the information correctly. In the future, when coming across initiatives like this, I now feel prepaired in terms of communication, paternship, and research.

Ack: I worked alone on this.

Cit: None.

Housing Works