Over the summer I volunteered for the Delgado Campaign. Antonio Delgado is a Democrat running for Congress in the NY-19 area. While New York is a blue state, many people living in the NY-19 area are not Democrats. My job on the campaign was to call potential voters and explain to them the values Delgado holds and what he plans to do if he wins. From answering calls from other campaigns I knew that phone banking would not be a fun, easy job. Most people are not receptive to listening and most of the time they would just hang up on me when they realized I was trying advertising. The few times the phone was answered and I was not immediately hung up on, the people I was calling did not appreciate the message I was attempting to send. For example, this one women spent 20 minutes yelling at me about the sins I was committing by working for an “evil Democrat”. Although this job came with a lot of rejected phone calls, I think it was a very interesting experience. Being yelled at, although not fun, was a good experience especially since I live in a bubble of liberals. This opportunity to call others who had extremely different values from me and try to convince them to vote for a candidate that I supported was an amazing and eye opening experience. Living in New York City I do not have much access to diversity of opinions when it comes to politics to I very much valued the opportunity to meet others with different opinions. Overall I really enjoyed my time phone banking and hope to continue doing it as Delgado won the primary in June and still needs help campaigning!
Over the summer I volunteered at a non-profit organization called Artemis Farm. Artemis is a farm that rescues abuses horses and donkeys. Most of the horses that they rescue are mini’s which means they are much smaller than an average horse or donkey. While working with them I was given the opportunity to interact with these horses. I cleaned stables and water buckets as well as got to give the horses their medications and just spend time with them in order to help them become less afraid of people. Even though almost all of the horses had been abused or neglected in some way they were generally really sweet and gentle. It was an interesting experience for me as I have only ever worked at non-profits where I am sitting at a desk in an office. I enjoyed getting to do hands-on work with these animals. I also got to hold and spend a lot of time with a newborn horse which was so cute! Overall I greatly enjoyed getting to know the horses and the farmers who work with them.
Throughout this year I have volunteered every Wednesday with Jericho Project. Jericho Project is a non-profit organization that works to end homelessness. They provide those living on the streets with a place to live and a they help them find a job. While at Jericho I worked with the Development Association. Each week I had a different task that varied from filing through bills to helping them make goody bags for events they were holding. Just this past week I was given an application for free zoo tickets that I had to fill out. In this form I had to explain Jericho’s mission and why these tickets would benefit their clients. This was an incredible experience for me as I was given full freedom of what to write. It was also helpful as I learned a lot about the organization in the process.
While working with Jericho I have been given the opportunity to learn about not only homelessness but also the way in which a non-profit runs. I was able to experience a work setting in which everyone was professional and expected me to be as well. Another surprising aspect was that I got to directly see the impact of my work. Not only was I helping the office to make sure the organization runs smoothly but I was also helping them come up with new and innovative ways to reach out to their community.
Amelia, one of my partners and I are trying to organize events raising awareness to FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). We are hoping to plan an assembly with a guest speaker as well as a bake sale during February of 2017 as February is FGM month. We are inspired to continue trying to raise awareness to domestic abuse as well as raising money for Sanctuary for Families, our organization. This project has really helped me realize the the importance of many social issues, from researching for my own project to listening to other people’s presentations. From researching about domestic abuse I have become inspired to keep on raising awareness to it as I’ve know realized the awful impact it has on people of all ages and genders. I think the YPI project is a really good use of time in history. It not only helps us as student connect social patterns throughout history but it also helps us bond with other students and make great connections with organizations.