In Ethnic New York, everything we learned led up to a single final research project, in which we had to provide a historical and ethnographical look at the neighborhood immediately surrounding where we live. Going into it, I was excited to have the opportunity to look into the lives of people who previously lived there and how what they did has shaped my experiences living there. One important part of the project was to conduct and record interviews with long time residents of the neighborhood, which at first seemed like a daunting task but became extremely rewarding after doing it. Being able to hear people talk about streets that I walk along everyday and describe a completely different world and experience honestly amazed me and only made me appreciate living in this city more than I already do. Not only did it change my perspective of the past of my neighborhood, it changed how I see it now. I find myself looking at the details of the world around me more, trying to figure out the significance that I now know that even the smallest thing can have.
My group was tasked with creating a clinic to help solve a health problem in the borough of Queens. After looking at the data we found that in Rockaway specifically, while there are similar rates of HIV among residents there, there are more people that die from it compared to the rest of the city. This meant that the people in Rockaway didn’t have the resources to deal with HIV once they had contracted it and so we proposed to set up a clinic there where people can receive treatment for the virus to help live normal lives while dealing with it.
By doing this project I became more aware of the struggles of providing healthcare for people. First of all, it is extremely expensive to find somewhere to open up a place in New York due to property being so expensive. Also the supplies for a clinic are also extremely expensive and with both of these together plus the cost of paying doctors makes running a clinic very costly. The real challenge comes from trying to find a way to pay for all of this because it doesn’t work in the same way that a store does trying to sell its products to anybody it can sell them to.
After looking at the way that healthcare works in New York, I would be more interested in looking into ways to make it more efficient.
Although service day is a great way to give back to the community, I feel like there are more important and necessary causes to help than just gardening, for example helping deliver or pack food or maybe even cleaning litter off the street. I appreciate how the school cares about giving back to the community I feel like a more local cause could also be better to eliminate traveling times.
As part of our History course this year we did a project designed to allow us to help to solve some of the most prominent issues in our community today. We had to create a presentation to promote a non-profit of our choice that helped solve a social issue in our community and then present our presentation in front of a panel of judges to compete for a 5000 dollar grant for our non-profit. The competition was organized by an organization called YPI or the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative. The non-profit that my group chose was called Hot Bread Kitchen, an organization that helps low income minority immigrant women get proper job training to thrive in the culinary industry.
My group was originally drawn to this non-profit because all of the people in our group had recent immigrant ancestors in the US and we felt that the issue was underrepresented when compared to the other social issues being chosen for the project. We visited our non-profit and we found it to be very nice but also in need of the 5000 dollars. Creating our presentation wasn’t a challenge and going into the finals my group was nervous but I wasn’t. We presented well but in the end another group got the grant but very deservingly. The whole project has made me think more about the social issues in our community and how people are trying to help.