Recently, work has continued to focus on researching community organizations. One of the most prominent organizations I’ve found that aligns with student interest is the Charles Foundation. Founded in 2011, the Charles Foundation is community organization aimed at advocating for community safety, common-sense gun legislation, curbing the school-to-prison pipeline, and creating a supportive atmosphere for youth. The foundation is an active community member, and besides advocacy, participates in supportive workshops for community members, and food distribution days. While the organization is not sustainability based, the contributions it makes to creating a safe and supportive environment for youth are incredibly important. This creates the foundation for a more sustainable community, and deal heavily with student interest.
Besides this, I also researched the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. The PHS is a larger organization that works throughout the state, but focuses in the city of Philadelphia. The organization houses projects all over the city, and makes it clear that the improvement and creation of greenspaces is for everyone, and everyone can help. Notably, the organization highlights initiative to create and upkeep community gardens and improving access to food in the city, which aligns with student interest in local food cultivation and urban green spaces.
I think either of these organizations could be a good potential partner for student opportunities in uplifting their community. Both organizations are doing important work, and contribute to the support of the communities in which they work. I am continuing my research about organizations for student involvement to hopefully find something a bit closer or more centralized in the Mastbaum area, so that students can make change in their own community.
Unfortunately, I have still been unable to get on the school’s campus to directly speak with students. Communication and scheduling has been a continual challenge, as teachers at Mastbaum are spread incredibly thin, and I’ve been held up with my own schooling. Hopefully this won’t be the case moving forward, and the Mastbaum team can continue moving forward towards helping students pursue interest in sustainability and community aid.