The week following the soccer preseason training camp, the Boy’s Varsity team traveled to Tobago, which served as an extremely fulfilling bonding and service experience. It was fantastic to be able to experience Warren and Sherwin’s home. Through 3 exhibition matches, down time, volunteer clinics, and practices everyone really got to know each other. We ran two clinics at our coach’s old high school and at their former soccer academy. Not only did we run clinics and distribute cleats, but we also got to immerse ourselves in the culture. The people we met were incredibly hospitable and it would be lovely to return there. This experience helped me understand the extent of the privilege I experience here at Friends and in my life in general.
For my out of school service this year I worked at Tompkins Square during MulchFest in the fall. A few other Friends’ students and I helped spread mulch throughout the park to nurture the growth and prosperity of the plants in the park. The mulch was made up of New Yorkers’ Christmas trees and wreaths which they had brought to the park and put in the wood chipper. Our group took turns between moving the mulch in wheelbarrows and spreading the mulch out with rakes. When we finished after 4 long, tiring hours it was very satisfying to see how much progress we had made. All of the people working at the park that day were enthusiastic and kind which made everyone feel welcome. Working at the park was very meaningful to me because I was recycling something as well as helping the environment. Most of my service this year pertained to the environment from the MulchFest to the Plant Sale, to the Flint Water Crisis: All of this means a lot to me.
At the beginning of the YPI Project we were trying to decide what social issue to study and I suggested hunger since I had volunteered with city harvest recently. Even though I had done service to help with the issue I didn’t know much about it and wanted to know more. When I started researching it I realized how much bigger the issue was and how different it was from what I previously thought. I really learned how to research better during this project and how to take statistics and make it interesting.
The hardest part of the project for me was presenting. I always have a hard time speaking in front of people and this was no exception. Even though there were difficulties it was still rewarding to be able to share our hard work with other people.
I really enjoyed visiting the POTS facility. It was amazing to see the kitchens and all the people they could seat to feed them healthy meals. The pantry was very elegant and was made so the families could feel like they were shopping in a real store. We interviewed Jack Marth, director of service, and he told us all about the work they do for hungry people and the different services they provide. I will definitely consider doing service with them in 10th grade because they are such a great organization.