Madeline Lerner’s experience in Tobago

This summer, The girls and boys varsity soccer teams traveled to Tobago to train and contribute to the community. We lead a soccer clinic where we were coached and played with local young soccer players. At the end of the clinic, we distributed soccer equipment that we organized and brought from New York. I really enjoyed talking and playing with the local girls. They were in the minority and it was interesting to watch their dynamic with the other boys who were playing. The girls varsity team later played a lot of these girls in real 11 v 11 games and it was really fun to continue to form friendships with them.

Tagging turtles in the Caribbean

This summer I spent three weeks living on a boat in the British Virgin Islands. While I was there, I learned about sea turtles and how nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as endangered because they are slaughtered for their eggs, meat, ski, and shells, and suffer from poaching and over-exploitation. They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture in fishing gear. Almost every day while I was in the Caribbean, I, along with experts, would jump off the boat and snorkel until I saw a turtle down below. I then would free dive down to the turtle and attempt to grab it by its shell and onto a dingy waiting above. We then would bring it onto the main boat and tag it, take measurements, and then release it back into the sea. Tagging these turtles is important to monitor the changes that the species as a whole will experience. One of the turtles we caught had been previously tagged and we were able to see that it had traveled all the way from Haiti.

 

My work with the Coalition for the Homeless

The Coalition for the Homeless is an organization that helps the homeless population in New York. They do everything from shelters to soup kitchens.

In February of this year, I worked with the coalition for the homeless. We traveled in a van to designated stops where we distributed soup and bagels to people who lined up. Many of the people who were there were regulars. I was touched by how nice and greatful these people were. This experience expanded my understanding of how many people are in need in my community. I am excited to work with this organization again in the future and I encourage everyone to do the same.

The International Rescue Committee

imageFor my YPI project I decided to find an organization that helped with refugees in the United States. Our organization was called the International Rescue Committee. Through working with the IRC, I learned a lot about communicating in a professional environment and it definitely improved those skills overall. I learned a lot about how to create and present a polished and complete presentation in front of a class. In working with my organization and researching the issue, I learned a lot about how it affects the New York City community and America as a whole. Though I knew of the world problem, I definitely learned a lot more through doing this project. I hope to stay involved in helping fix the social issue.