Being apart of change and seeing it happen right in front of you is something that gives off a feeling that is hard to express. When you positively affect a person, place or community you get an overwhelming feeling of empowerment. You feel like you can do anything, the sky is the limit. You realize that you have power and control over your own life, to fix things, to create things for the better. In the past year I have had the opportunity to travel around the world and work with communities and individuals in those communities to help make change, whether that be tutoring underprivileged children in Mexico and Spain, or installing a water filtration system at a school in Tanzania. I have learned that the most important factor in helping a community is learning what their needs are. In order to really help a community, the first step is to ask them what they need. I have seen that there are many organizations that want to help but they assume they know what’s best for the community in need, they end up making no progress because they give things that are not needed. My hopes for this summer are to see first hand the needs of the people living in West Oakland. I would like to get a better understanding of the community, away from the preconceived ideas and news headlines that we all have in the back of our heads. I am interested in becoming a part of a new community, a group of people with common interests and backgrounds that work together. I hope that by the end of this program I will be able to call West Oakland a home away from home, a place that I have grown to love.
What is to come