Summer Service Scholar’s Top 10

Summer Service Scholar’s Top 10

June 28, 2018 Reflections from Changemakers 15

What are the top 10 things other should know about your site and the Capital Region?


15 Responses

  1. Maria Flores says:

    The Top 10 things you should know about YWCA of the Greater Capital Region and Troy, NY:

    1) YWCA of the Greater Capital Region is a powerful organization that provides housing onsite for over 90 women and has a staff made up of all self-identified women.
    2) YWCA has a powerful and long history. The building I work in is currently 100 years old and this building was purposely built for YWCA and to carry out it’s mission.
    3) Part of the mission statement of YWCA is to eliminate racism and empower women and I believe they do a phenomenal job of keeping that mission statement. I think the national organization as a whole does a great job of being inclusive, but there are ways they can improve at this specific YWCA.
    4) You will meet the sweetest and most affirming people at YWCA. With a staff of all women, minus the maintenance man, you will embraced by a passionate, hard-working, strong atmosphere.
    5) For the most part, the residents like where they live and enjoy the programming that is provided for them.
    6) YWCA-GCR is located right a few blocks from the heart of Downtown Troy which leads to a lot of nice walks around the river and a lot of nice lunches.
    7) Although Troy is beautiful and has a lot to offer, you can tell that it has been impacted by gentrification. Learning how to navigate being an active participant in that can be tough especially coming to a new town and state that I do not know.
    8) Troy has a lot of free events that happen throughout the week and weekends. One of the more popular ones being the Troy Farmer’s Market.
    9) Troy is more than the downtown in which we are surrounded by and it is worth going around and checking out.
    10) Troy has an interesting obsession with Uncle Sam, since he was born in Troy. Although I am not a patriotic person by any means, so I just find it strange.

  2. Sarah Jaromin says:

    1) The Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Albany is an amazing organization that is filled with extremely passionate and hardworking people.
    2) BGCA is involved in shaping a large population of the youth that reside in the city of Albany with programs at approximately 11 of the Albany City School District Elementary Schools.
    3) These programs are offered for free or at a low cost based on family income in order to provide affordable child care to many low-income families.
    4) BGCA also offers services to many of the areas teens and gives them a safe space to come after school in order to help provide them with more positive experiences. This program includes many opportunities in sports, the arts, and the especially popular program Lyricism101 which offers teens a place to express themselves through music.
    5) BGCA is always looking for volunteers and community partners. It is an amazing place to volunteer and the staff are some of the best people to get to know so I promise it is worth it.
    6) The Pride Center of the Capital Region is the oldest in the country.
    7) There are so many non-profits in the Capital Region that help many diverse communities and populations.
    8) The community of Albany is a very tight knit community, one that is extremely proud of what they have accomplished and are dedicated to uplifting and helping one another succeed.
    9) The Egg is actually a performing arts venue that holds a variety of shows and performances.
    10) There are so many events and community gatherings such as concerts, farmers markets, parks, and much more which offer things to do for any and every body of all ages.

  3. Joann Skinner says:

    1. Having grown up outside of Albany, I always thought I knew everything there was to know about the city. This summer experience has shown me that there are so many wonderful organizations and inspiring people to meet and learn from that I had not previously been aware of.
    2. Underground Railroad History Project is driven by the mission to both research the past involvement of people in the Capital Region in the Underground Railroad movement as well as analyzing the continued relevance of this movement to society today.
    3. In order to enact their mission URHP holds a number of events at The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence. These events include, but are not limited to, jazz events, a book club and daily tours.
    4. URHP works with the city of Albany and their Summer Youth Employment Program. We currently have almost 40 high school students at our cite. The students are placed in five focus groups and on August 2 from 2-4pm each group will present their project.
    5. URHP is always looking for passionate volunteers. Everyone is welcome, no matter the length of time, to come to the residence and volunteer in the gardens or within the home.
    6. Although it was not part of my original job description, community engagement and outreach has been a significant aspect of my internship and easily my favorite part.
    7. Albany has a number of free events ranging from the South End Healthy Market put on by Avillage to weekly musical acts. These events are great places to meet new people and form lasting friendships.
    8. In the weeks I have been at URHP, I have met a number of people from different nonprofits and also from local and state government. All these people have been similarly motivated to work with different communities to work towards greater equality and representation.
    9. Similar to the previous point, working at a nonprofit has offered me a new network of people to learn from. While both on and off site I have been able to network with like-minded individuals increasing my awareness of the numerous organizations within the Capital Region.
    10. I would suggest URHP as a location to visit to anyone as well as a site for people looking for volunteer options. It is constantly full of thoughtful and motivated individuals.

  4. Daly Place says:

    1. Community Miracles in Action is a new non-profit (opened in March 2018) that provides a free teen drop-in STEAM center for Cohoes and the surrounding communities.
    2. Since CMA is so new, anyone volunteering here has the ability to make their own unique mark on the organization.
    3. At CMA we have been doing a Love Your Block program where we have picked up trash on the street, build a trash can and ash tray, and even talked to the city council about banning plastics.
    4. Another great program that we ran was creating solar cookers where the kids turned pizza boxes into cookers and made s’mores.
    5. If you ever stop in Cohoes, you have to check out Cake Street Bakery. They have AMAZING desserts.
    6. The Greater Capital Region has so much to do, including festivals, fairs, hiking, comedy shows. You just have to look for it!
    7. Go to the Troy Farmers market. There is fresh produce, plants, but also so much more. Its a blast.
    8. Take the time to go to all the random stores and shops! There is even a witch store in Troy.
    9. Go to rock the block in Cohoes on Thursday nights!
    10. Its summer, go outside, explore the community. Theres so many opportunities to grow as a person through this program. Just do it.

  5. Shauna-Kay Harrison says:

    1) I would like others to know that my site provides services to low-income families free of charge.
    2) That they try to reach everyone in the greater capital region; so not just Albany but Troy, Rensselaer, Schenectady.
    3) That it was started or rather inspired by Arthur Ashe, the famous tennis player.
    3) They try to give to those on their program before others. For example, instead of hiring outside tennis instructors, they use the kids that have been in the program and pay them instead. The Director of Programs that runs the tennis side was a part of the program, for example.
    4) We offer educational and tennis instruction. Even if children are only enrolled in the tennis side, there is still an educational component. We give out books and teach them healthy living.
    5) We have a STEM, gardening, healthy living and literacy program, and of course, tennis.
    6) For Albany: there is a free museum. A lot of places, like Miami, don’t have this, and I think it’s amazing that anyone of any economic background can have that cultural and educational experience.
    7) The condemned buildings are an issue; but I was happy to see a library right across from one as libraries arw often the first to go in low-income areas.
    8) It has a good bus system. Better than Miami which is a hard core city.
    9) There are a lot of cultural spots: so ethnic restaurants and places where you can learn about different people.
    10) The world’s largest Walmart is here.

  6. Olivia Waldron says:

    The things people should know about the ACE Office:
    1.) The faculty and staff really care about your goals and making sure you’re succeeding in the present and the future. The office and community engaged work does a great job of preparing you for after college and helping you find your passions.
    2.) You can turn any discipline, any passion, and any idea into a cool project with the help of ACE. I think this freedom is important and what really makes for great, meaningful projects. If more students knew about ACE and the work they could potentially do here I believe we’d see some really cool, out-of-the-box projects that have never been done.
    Things people should know about the Capital Region:
    3.) There are so many great places to eat! Although Panera is always my go to.
    4.) Saratoga is a gem. The state park, SPAC, and the race track are all very cool places.
    5.) The history! So much cool history here, especially, when it comes to the Underground Railroad. Check out the Stephen and Harriet Myers house. Mary Liz is a great tour guide; really interesting stuff!
    6.) There are so many colleges around here. Not just Siena. I think a lot of people forget that. It would be cool if there was more collaboration between all of us in the different Capital Region schools.
    7.) There are so many interesting organizations/companies in the Capital Region that it is a great place to find a first job after college or start a career.
    8.) Public transportation isn’t as hard as I thought.
    9.) There is always events and concerts on the weekends. Always something to do!
    10.) Really cool secondhand stores in the Capital Region that sell quality, designer clothes. (Fifi’s, Clothes Mentor, etc.)

  7. Conner Dickson says:

    Top 10:
    1: the Troy farmers market is amazing! There are so many vendors there and many dogs and yummy food and organic produce.
    2. Highly recommend walking around downtown Troy on a day when the farmers market isn’t happening. There are many quaint shops and the architecture is stunning.
    3. Troy Prep is a charter school that serves the community of Troy. It’s amazing working there because you feel like a part of a family who are working to improve the futures of underprivileged children. Our number one priority is college readiness, beginning in Kindergarten!
    4. There are many nature preserves in the surrounding capital region. My favorite is the vischer ferry reserve; it has many inlets to trail heads and a dock!
    5. The Albany Rural Cemetery is a cool piece of history. It’s a huge cemetery containing the grave of President Chester Arthur and other big names. Also, all of the headstones are intricate and unique! It’s a pretty place to take a walk or drive.
    6. PIZZA. There are so many super delicious hole-in-the-wall places to eat here! My favorite is Paesan’s pizza. It’s also super cheap.
    7. On the subject of food, there are a lot of good restaurants in troy too. The whistling kettle is a tea place, ilium cafe is a cafe based on the fictional town created by Kurt Vonnegut. Super delicious.
    8. Maybe it’s a northern thing, but I had never heard of gas stations that also are ice cream shops… and that’s what Stewart’s is! Their ice cream is sooo creamy and good.
    9. There is always something happening on weekends in either Albany or Troy. It’s easy to google “things to do near me” and current events will show up!
    10. Rockin’on the river is a musical event in Troy that is really cool. It features live music and yummy food and drinks.

  8. Dana Anglin says:

    1.) The YWCA houses over 94 women. Each woman gets their own apartment and there are even apartments that house both women and their children.
    2.) There is community meal every Thursday from 6-7pm with a new cook every week.
    3.) The YWCA staff is amazing and they are willing to help every resident that lives in the building regardless of their past history.
    4.) There are different classes and events that the staff works to provide for the residents. There is a ready for work, ready for life, and ready for school programs that are available to help the residents get back on their feet.
    5.) There is a food pantry that takes place in the basement on Mondays from 2-4pm and Thursday-Friday 1-4pm which allows the residents to shop once a month.
    6.) There is a lady at the front desk named Ejah who is very good at making conversation and she has the funniest most amazing personality. Everyone should meet Miss Ejah.
    7.) The YWCA is located near River Street and there are a ton of restaurants and cafes nearby. Dinosaur BBQ and Whistling Kettle are both in walking distance and are also some of the residents’ favorites.
    8.) There is a Sally Catlin Resource center that consists of a few computers that are open to the community for use.
    9.) The YWCA celebrates 100 years of being active this year (2018). There are old advertisements and rooms, such as the pool room that show the history of the building and organization.
    10.) The YWCA is a building with people from all different races, backgrounds, and parts of the country. It is melting pot of love, support, and acceptance for all. The staff is patient, caring, and self-less. The YWCA-GCR is a hidden treasure.

  9. Lizzie Nutig says:

    1. Family Promise can host any homeless family and work together to create solutions for each family
    2. Family Promise is completely volunteer driven, and has literally 500 volunteers and 2 employees
    3. The Capital Region is a super cool region of NYS that gets overshadowed greatly by NYC
    4. There are a lot of people who live in the Capital Region- I don’t know why I didn’t know this, but I thought it would be a lot like Bingamton, where there’s not a whole lot going on
    5.The Empire Plaza outdoor mall thing where the Egg is- is weird and looks like the Hunger Games Capital
    6. Family Promise can help anyone, not just guest families that are in the program, but anyone who wants help will be helped
    7. Family Promise doesn’t get any government funding because if they did, they would have to keep some families away (like formerly incarcerated people or people with immigration issues)
    8. rt: Stewart’s is the bomb diggity
    9. Siena does a lot to help the community and all VISTAs in the area are through Siena
    10. There are free concerts everywhere; it’s a pretty awesome place to spend the summer

  10. Alex Goldberg says:

    1. Albany is the capital of New York State. It is not New York City.
    2. The Office of Academic and Community Engagement (ACE) at Siena has a lot of great programs to assist non-profits throughout the community. I wish that more non-profits knew about and would utilize all of the different programs ACE has to offer.
    3. The Capital Region has a few other cities besides Albany, including Saratoga, Troy, and Schenectady. Each of these communities is unique in its own way, and I encourage visitors to spend time in each one.
    4. The people who work at ACE really do want to help the community. There is sometimes a stigma about working with college students, but that is unfounded with the people and students at ACE. Everybody at ACE is very capable of helping the community.
    5. Apart from urban centers in the capital region, there are also plenty of outdoor attractions as well, including Thacher Park, Saratoga State Park, the Adirondack Mountains, and Lake George
    6. The Capital Region has a large technology sector, including a computer chip manufacturing plant in Malta and a college of nanotechnology through SUNY Albany.
    7. The Capital Region is an incredibly diverse community, including a variety of races, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, nationalities, and almost any other measure of diversity.
    8. The Capital Region has a plethora of non-profit organizations. It is incredibly easy to find one that you are interested in and begin volunteering.
    9. The people in the Capital Region are kind, welcoming, and really do want to make our community better. There is also a lot of generosity here. If you ask for help, you will be able to find it. This is also true of the people at ACE as well.
    10. Stewart’s is a local gas station/convenience store. They started out as a dairy provider, and thus, they have some of the best ice cream in the area. I love the Peanut Butter Pandemonium flavor, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten an ice cream there that I didn’t absolutely love.

  11. Nicole Alex says:

    1. Unity House has a 24-hour domestic violence hotline number for anyone who needs crisis intervention, referrals, or information. It’s (518) 272-2370
    2. Unity House hosts an annual art show in Troy to celebrate the art created by and for domestic violence survivors.
    3. Unity House offers temporary crisis housing for every client, and, if they do not have room, they will find housing for their clients in another county.
    4. Unity House has a thrift store, called ReStyle, where their clients are encouraged to shop and given coupons.
    5. Unity House offers community meals every day for lunch.
    6. Troy hosts a farmers market every Saturday morning and welcomes vendors from all across the region. There are always so many dogs.
    7.Unity House helps survivors of domestic violence protect their pets through their collaboration with the Mohawk Humane Society; if the client cannot house their pet, the Humane Society will take them without charge for as long as needed.
    8. Troy is an incredibly diverse community with a rich, important history, and it should be explored and appreciated for more than River Street.
    9. Unity House runs a “traveling” summer camp for kids during the summer months, where they are brought around the Capitol Region and New York state.
    10. Unity House has a Nutritional Outreach and Education Program, which offers nutritional advice and, occasionally, lessons on eating and cooking healthy.

  12. Nia Shuler says:

    1. There is always something to do on the weekends in the area, festivals, markets, free concerts events.
    2. The people here are super friendly and nice, and there is always someone willing to help you if your lost
    3. The Troy Boys and Girls Club was awarded a CDTA bus to take the children to Grafton State Park this summer.
    4. TBGC secured grants and funding to continue the workforce development program. They will also be bringing in a professor from Hudson Valley to teach the curriculum with the children.
    5. The Albany area is very diverse and everyone fits in and has there own place, it seems as though people from many different backgrounds live together in unison.
    6. There is so much work that goes into keeping the boys and girls club running. There is always funding and grants that need to be applied for.
    7. TBGC does so much for children and families, they offer many different programs such as sports programs, dance classes, health related events and much more.
    8. There are some many restaurants here that represent different cultures, I have tried Indian, and Caribbean resturants for the first time while being here.
    9. The CDTA bus system provides transportation for so many people in the Capital region. It is also pretty reliable and once you get the hang of the routes it is not that hard to navigate.
    10. There are so many nonprofit organizations and resources in the area, but not a lot of people are aware of them or are not aware of how to go about reaching out to them in order to receive services.

  13. Diana Solis says:

    What are the top 10 things other should know about your site and the Capital Region?
    1.) Troy is the birth place of Uncle Sam who was actually a meat packer.
    2.) Boys and Girls Club has so many opportunities. If kids want a specific activity, it can be done! They’ve had sewing, lyrical, piano, soap box car racing.
    3.) They feed the kids Dinosaur BBQ every Friday for the summer.
    4.) You can volunteer to work at SPAC and you get to see an artist perform and then the revenue you get from your register goes back to the club.
    5.) Teen program at TBGC is completely free during the summer.
    6.) If you get lost on the CDTA, there will be another different number bus that can reroute you to your destination. Or ask for help. People will help navigate you to your location.
    7.) Everyone is super friendly, just reach out and smile,say Hello! You never know what new friends you can make.
    8.) Albany cares about becoming a sanctuary city.
    9.) The Rite-Aids here do not serve scoops of ice-cream and there are no XXtra Hot cheetos anywhere in NY !
    10.) In Albany they host a Black and Latino Pride for LGBT People of Color but everyone is welcomed. I really appreciate they host the day before pride. They do a week of events leading up to Pride. They even have a ball event !

  14. Michele McAuliffe says:

    1. The Boys and Girls Club of Albany sacrifice so much for such an amazing cause. All of their employees have the biggest hearts and are truly empathetic and caring for all the kids and families in the community.
    2. It was extremely interesting to see how gentrification ties in to certain areas. Observing the differences between within one block radius was noticeably strange and I would love to learn more about how that took place.
    3. There are a lot of amazing people in this area with incredible stories! All you have to do is start a conversation and they can talk for hours on end.
    4. The community came together for the Tri-City ValleyCats baseball which was super cool! The whole stadium was packed for this minor league baseball game and the atmosphere was comfortable and great. Highly recommend attending a game.
    5. I love how there is so much to do! You can literally never be bored, especially if you have a vehicle. There are festivals, concerts, and farmers markets every weekend and weekday!
    6. Speaking of festivals, every culture represented has one. I went to 5 in one weekend and it was such a gratifying experience. I really enjoyed how one culture comes together in such a melting pot of a city to celebrate their own culture as well as spreading more knowledge to “outsiders” like myself.
    7. The Troy farmers market is my absolute favorite thing about the area. There are SOOOO many different vendors and it takes an hour to go through it all. There are dogs and babies literally everywhere which makes the experience that much greater. There is also this great coffee stand that has coffee ice cubes – so innovative!
    8. It’s really easy to fit in at the Boys and Girls Club of Albany because EVERYONE is incredibly friendly and inclusive. It’s a team atmosphere where everyone is the player, fan, and coach.
    9. I moved to a place with barely any radio stations so I think its great to be in an area with such variety other than christian, top hits and country.
    10. The siena library is extremely quiet and has so many books! By far my favorite place on campus, next to gardening at the Moore House!

  15. Chantal Monnier says:

    1.)Community Miracles in Action is a free teen drop-in center for the Cohoes community and surrounding areas. The focus on the programs is STEAM related, but provides kids with the means to be creative and come up with their own ideas.
    2.) CMA is doing a Love Your Block service learning initiative with it’s summer program. This is where the kids pick up trash on the street and then talk about ways to prevent this trash. They have been really engaged with this, and have even talked to a city councilman about banning plastic bags in Cohoes.
    3.) There is a comedy theatre in Schenectady that is fun to go to! They do improv shows and much more. Super funny!
    4.) Tri-City ValleyCats Games are fun, if you like baseball.
    5.) Highly recommending eating at Pig Pit BBQ, get the fried mac & cheese.
    6.) The Troy Farmers Market is really big and has a lot of cool stuff. Good way to spend a Saturday Morning.
    7.) Rock Your Block is a concert series, where every Thursday there is a new band playing at the park in Cohoes. The concerts are free and super fun.
    8.) In Cohoes, there is a really good bakery called Cake Street. They have really good cupcakes and so many other desserts like cheesecake and macaroons.
    9.) CMA was an amazing site to work at. Crystal, my supervisor, is a person that thinks nothing is impossible and adds enthusiasm to any project you are working on. You never know what you may be doing when you walk into the door of CMA.
    10.) CDTA is super reliable, but make sure you know which side of the street you need to be on!

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