February was an exciting month for the Young Heroes teams of East Harlem. We led the heroes in exploring the topics of Health and Wellness, Gender Roles, and HIV/AIDS.
On Health and Wellness Day we discussed different health issues that threaten individuals in their community. We brought out two experts from North General Hospital to talk about childhood asthma and obesity in East Harlem. We also invited an expert environmental air quality inspector from Micro Ecologies that spoke to parents and students about air quality in project housing. Health and Wellness was a day filled with powerful discussions about health, yoga, trail mix, and reminders of general well being and happiness. It was a great day.
We found ourselves all over the city for the service portion of our Gender Roles Day. A large group of our students traveled downtown to the Anti Violence Project (AVP.) AVP is committed to the prevention of violence against lesbians and homosexuals, they offer free and confidential couseling, support, and advocacy. The students heard from some of the clients at the facility, participated in a creative writing workshop, and donated Valentines Day cards. The other portion of the group traveled to green thumb community gardens in East Harlem and spent the afternoon putting up blue bird boxes, that students had made on Animal Cruelty day in January. We also visited council women Melissa Mark-Vivorito at her office on 116th street and made Valentines Day cards.
The relationship that we have established with the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center (TCCHCC) is one that I hope to carry on.
By the end of this Heroes year we will have spent two service days working with the facility and they have connected us with a variety of helpful resources and organizations. February 17th was National Make a Blanket day and the Young Heroes HIV/AIDS Day. Our teams traveled to TCCHCC and made “no-sew” quilts for the HIV/AIDS patients. The facility offered us the use of a large space, enough to fit all of our teams, and they were informative and accommodating. We will be working with TCCHCC again for our Ageism Day on March 10th.
Young Heroes is exciting. We make the students work hard on Saturday’s. We push them to think in new directions and challenge them to acquire new skills, the best part is that they keep coming back.
We are always looking for volunteers!
Come out and serve a Saturday!
-Isabella, Young Heroes East Harlem