Cancer Care is a non-profit organization that works to address the financial, practical and emotional concerns of those who have been affected by Cancer (including the Cancer patient, caregiver and the bereaved). Cancer Care hosts a variety of support groups, including online, face-to-face and telephone support groups. Although Cancer Care is primarily based in NYC, people from throughout the world and the country can participate in the online and telephone group. All of the support groups are facilitated by professional support oncologists. They also have a wig and breast prosthesis clinic that allows those who have been affected by cancer to receive these supplies, which can lead to an increase in self-esteem. Furthermore, Cancer Care can help to cover the costs of chemotherapy, transportation, and child care, all things that can take away from a patient focusing on their care. At Cancer Care, I had a meeting with Cancer Care and learned about the Cancer patient’s needs and how we could best support them. After learning about this, we created a presentation to help raise money for them and won $1,000. I look forward to helping support them in the future, by participating in a 5k run to help fund their wig clinic. After working with Cancer Care my attitude towards the social issue changed because I was more aware of the struggle that the whole family, not just the patient, faces because of cancer as well as the costs of child care and transportation. Furthermore, my communication skills became stronger after working with a nonprofit organization because I communicated with them in order to best understand their needs. I found winning the $1,000 for my organization the most rewarding part, knowing that I would be directly helping cancer care and the work they do.
In my politics class, which is taught by Stefan Stawnychy, we have heavily focused on this year’s election. We have discussed various issues and each candidate’s take on them. When one chooses a candidate, they most likely have to agree with some of their stances on certain issues. In order to see the stances each candidate has on an issue, it is much better to see them side by side. One can see which stance they agree with better if they are put next to each other. Thus my politics class decided to do a project where we would present each candidate’s stance on the issues side-by-side. My partner, Kofi Hope-Gund, and I worked on the issues: the wall and LGTBQ rights. Through doing this I got to dive deep into both candidate’s campaigns and the way they presented their issues. I got to see some faults in both campaigns, as well as some good things. One very interesting thing that I found was that Trump does not list his stances on LGBTQ rights on his website. This is very concerning because this is a very important issue in our country and he does not even bother to address it. Hilary goes in to great detail on her stances on the issue. Overall, this project was very enriching for my knowledge of each of the campaigns and it led me to become much more engaged in the election.
This summer I worked at a day camp in Ocean Beach, a town in Fire Island. I was a group counselor for the 8 year olds, which entailed walking the kids from activity to activity and playing with them while at activities. I swam in the ocean with my group, played sports with my group, went fishing with my group, and much more, including using countless strategies to try to get the kids to walk faster. Despite my role as an authority figure over the kids, the bond I formed with several of the kids created such a friendly environment that was fun for the kids and me as well. I won’t forget the moment when I asked one of my campers what his favorite activities were, and he responded, “I like sailing…and I like boating a lot too, but I think my favorite is playing with you.” Bonding with my 8 year olds as the summer went on was rewarding, but what was most rewarding was knowing that I was helping out the Ocean Beach Youth Group (OBYG) community. I have been going to this camp summer after summer ever since I was a camper at 4 years old and have grown up seeing the same kids every year. I still see my old counselors on the beach on the weekends, many of whom have jobs during the week in the city. From the close relationships that I’ve developed and the memories that I’ve cherished, the OBYG community has given so much to me. It was beyond meaningful to be able to help the community that is so special to me.