On Saturday, April 29th I went to Washington DC to participate in the People’s Climate March. I had never been to an event like this, and it was interesting to see a demonstration first hand. I had recently visited DC before the march, and it was funny seeing all the landmarks again. I wasn’t expecting for the crowds to be as big as they were, and I’d never seen so many people in one place before. Despite the huge crowds and high temperatures, it was a fun experience overall.
For service day this year, my advisory and a couple other advisories went to the lower east side ecology center and common ground, which is a composting place near school. At common ground, we learned about composting and how everyone can compost in New York. we learned about the compost pick up system in NYC as well as the science behind composting. Then we moved flowers from a flower bed into another place in the garden. After that, we took a bus to the lower east side ecology center by the East river, where we shoveled compost into bags that would be sent to the people who fought their compost to the lower east side ecology center. Shoveling was good exercise and fun, and with team work and good spirits we got a lot done.
In my first year of leading the FS Gender-Sexuality Alliance, I coordinated several community events for LGBTQ+ education. I helped organize our annual assembly and fishbowl discussion for 2017 Queers and Peers week. This year’s topic was media representation, and we discussed the effects of both positive and negative representations of LGBTQ+ people in media.
Moderating the community fishbowl discussion was a really eye-opening experience. It forced me to step back from participating and focus more on listening to others’ experiences. It really opened up more conversation about community engagment with the GSA, especially parents and faculty. I believe that leading the GSA and coordinating these events has encouraged me to stand back and allow others to share rather than always talking. I am planning to lead the GSA next year as well, and I hope to continue expanding our reach and helping the community.
This past summer, I went to Costa Rica with Jackson wakefield and about 15 other kids around my age through an organization called Rustic Pathways. I went for about 10 days, and flew in and out of San José. We stayed in a hotel about two miles from the beach and ate costa rican food every day for all our meals. Every day, we got group surf lessons from the counselors that stayed with us, and also got to swim. We also went white water rafting and rock climbing. Every 2-3 days, we took a bus to another neighborhood and helped build houses, among other things, with the locals. We mixed and laid concrete, laid cinderblocks, put up sheetrock, and dug holes for septic tanks. Overall, It was an amazing experience because I got to see the costa rican culture, get better at surfing, and help the local community.