During this school year I have been working with an affliction on my church. While being there I was able to experience a heartwarming event in which we were able to help people who are in need. There what we would do is pack bags of food and give it to the people. There I was also able to meet some really interesting people there. It was also cool to know that this was an affliction of my church it made me feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed. I’m really glad that I was able to accept this opportunity, and I hope to do this again in the summer.
Over the summer, I volunteered in helping set up a rummage sale in Cornwall Conecticut set up by the Cronwal Women’s Soceity. There were six or seven highschoolers who helped move things around and organize the different donations. The week of July 11th we all arrived at 9 am and left at noon. During this time we sorted the donations that had been left outside of the buidlilng into specific rooms for sale. That weekend, we helped with the sale. All the profits made go to local matters, such as scholarships for children who graduate from the local public school and general maintnance work around the town. All items that were not sold were given to Good Will.
It was really fun to work with the highschoolers from the local school. These students would receive the scholarships from the profit. It was nice way for these students to help out in something that will really end up benefiting them.
To look at pictures of the sale go here: http://www.cornwallct.org/CornwallPictures/2016/rummagesale/index.html
The Cornwall Women’s Soceity does not have their own website, but this is their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/351548694947597/
This summer, I worked for a non profit called Go Project. Go Project is a non profit that works on helping kids all the way from K to over 5th grade catch up to their grade level. Instead of summer school, they can learn here over the summer in a fun and inclusive learning environment. My job here was working as a teaching assistant. I aided a teacher to help a 3rd grade class learn a variety of topics ranging from fractions and decimals to improving their reading level. The kids enjoyed the many different activities. They also got to take part in extra curricular activities after they finished their work. This experience was very rewarding for the kids and for me. Not only did it help the kids improve their skills and have a fun time, but it also helped me grow as a teacher and make new relationships too. I hope others follow in working for Go Project and helping the kids continue to excel in school.
When my group members and I came together as a group for the first time, we were unsure how we would be able to combine or reconcile our different initial opinions of what innovation is. It was, initially, a small struggle to find a specific topic that was both a social issue and was something that we identified with. In our search for a non-for-profit that we found addressed a social issue and promoted or fostered innovation, we found Hope and Heroes (www.hopeandheroes.org). Hope and Heroes was a perfect find for us, as it both addressed the issue of pediatric cancer and searched for innovative cures, all the while trying to make the treatment process less abrasive. They make the treatment process less abrasive by advancing treatment techniques, helping the families cover their bills, and giving gifts to the children. By investigating this information and researching its impact and all that there is yet to do, I have developed a strong desire for change in pediatric cancer, even though I am not directly impacted by it.
Of my group members, I––mostly––was in contact with our contact in Hope and Heroes, Jeremy Shatan. This communication included introducing us, setting up a meeting, and everything in between. Through these (though relatively brief) communications with Jeremy, I think that I have improved my communication skills. I feel like the YPI project has allowed me to better my ability to convey what I mean to others better over the nonverbal media which is email.
Over the course of this project, many things have changed including my attitude to my social issue (access to education). Before YPI, I hadn’t known how big of a problem access to education really was. With YPI, I learned about the different effects this issue has in our community and how it causes some people to have less opportunities causing an unfair environment. I can remain engaged with this social issue and my non-profit organization (Children’s Scholarship Fund) by raising awareness to others about the disparities involved. I could also talk to other organizations and create funds to start donations. Overall, this project has been a rewarding experience since it brought so many issues prevalent in our community to our awareness. I think it would be a great project to continue on in the future.
I really enjoyed working on the YPI Project. I learned about communicating in the real world. When emailing teachers you usually get a response within hours, but non-profits have much larger inboxes and so we had to email NAMI many times before we got a response. It was difficult to contact our charity in these last few days as we were trying to invite them to the final presentations. From experience, we learned that they are much more efficient returning calls than emails, but when we called they were not there. I am glad we were able to contact them finally, but they responded yesterday.
This was a very meaningful addition to our history class. A lot of people thought that the YPI had very little to do with History, but we have been learning all year about people and the way that they organized themselves and created civilizations. The Youth Philanthropic Initiative helps students learn about the struggles of other people in their community, so it is actually very connected to our class.
Here is the link to our charity: https://www.nami.org
For my community service, I worked in the kitchen at God’s Love We Deliver. I know of this charity from decorating he bags at Christmas and worked with them in my sophmore year as well. One of the most amazing things is the volunteers who give their time every weekend. The head chef was running late one week, but this amazing group of people knew exactly what to do anyway. Although, I would never see them outside of this work, for those three hours on a Saturday we worked towards a common goal of helping others, and I think that was really special. I felt as though the work we did actually was going to benefit people and was important.
For the last couple of weeks, I have been volunteering at the Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In the evenings, I would help walk dogs along with many other locals who volunteer for dog walking on a regular basis. I have actually been going to the shelter for quite a long time because the owner is very close friends with my parents. Over the years, I have developed strong relationships with both the animals as well as the employees there. I think it’s really important for people to volunteer at the shelter because a lot of these animals do not receive the same care and affection they would if the animals had a permanent home. I was also very pleased to see the number of individuals who volunteer at the shelter consistently as it made me realize the dedication and awareness of my own neighborhood. If I was not walking dogs, I would usually clean the cages/containers or take care of the cats. I really enjoy going to the shelter because I think it’s very important for such animals to receive proper care before they find a family.
Throughout the 2014-2015 school year, I have led the Head Start outreach initiative at Friends. Every few weeks, my co-leader and I took a group of Friends students to the Head Start location at the Educational Alliance. We split up into several classrooms full of young children around the age of five and entertained the young children. We did activities like puzzles, computer games, board games, trains, and more with the kids, while creating relationships with them.
Head Start was a great experience as it really became an activity that I enjoyed to lead for the community. Seeing these happy and adorable kids and having them recognize me every time I visited, gave me an incredible feeling. I feel that working with these children not only left a positive impact on the children and their families, but also on me. I am super glad I participated with this organization and would love to continue working with them in the future.
For the past couple years I have been able to work at Saint Paul and Saint Andrew United Methodist Church’s Vacation Bible School. I have been a camper, a junior counselor, a counselor and this year I was honored with an assistant Director’s position. I was able to help plan the curriculum, the field trips, and the structure of the program. It was an amazing learning experience for me.
Not only was I blessed with the ability work with some wonderful people but I truly felt as though I was able to make a difference. Many of the kids who come to our camp come from West Side Campaign Against Hunger’s programs or from Homework Help which means that they come from low income families. For some of them the lunch we provided was the only meal that they would have for the day and the experience that we provided was the only adventure that they would get during the summer. Working with these kids and exposing them to new things brought so much joy to me. The field trip we took was to a nature center. We got to hunt frog and hike through the woods. Seeing the excited look on all of the kids faces was well worth all of the work that went into planning that adventure.
I was extremely fortunate to have this learning experience and look forward to more adventures in the future.