I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to go to QYLC again last weekend, hosted by Brooklyn Friends and Mary McDowell. The topic was “Bridging Communities,” a very important thing to consider in light of the election and all else that is going on right now. The conference was attended by many other Quaker schools in the Northeast (and one from Canada!), so it was interesting to talk with other students who I share a Quaker education with. There were great speakers, including the CEO of NYC Planned Parenthood, Joan Malin, who spoke on a panel, and Niyonu Spann. I also went on a cultural trip to the Jewish Heritage Museum, which I found extremely insightful and relevant. Afterwards, I went on a service trip to a local childcare center to make valentines for the kids and to play with them for a bit. QYLC was a very insightful and fun experience.
As part as the ninth grade World History course I participated in the Youth Philanthropy Initiative. We had to find non-profit organizations in the NYC area to research, visit, and present about to my history class. Since I moved on to the finals, we had to present to the whole ninth grade and some judges to. This experience has opened my eyes to the issues of mass incarceration and the generational cycle of incarceration. My team worked with Children of Promise NYC which is based in Bed-Stuy and works with children who have a parent incarcerated in the prison system. I learned about the affect mass incarceration has on the children involved and how CPNYC helps them.
Verbal and written communication were key throughout this process. My team had to send a formal email to people we had never interacted with before. It was very valuable to have done this and to get over the slight fear I had of it. Furthermore, we had to convey all the information we had about our issue and charity to our class in a PowerPoint presentation. This also helped me get over a slight fear of public speaking. When I was presenting to the whole grade I did not feel nervous at all.