Baldwin Wallace University Students Volunteer with Urban Upbound for the Day
By: Tori Kammer, Development & Communication
On Thursday, May 12, 2022, students from Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio visited Urban Upbound as a part of their Alternative University Break program, to learn about innovative ways to reduce poverty in urban tracks. Urban Upbound provided the student volunteers with an immersive educational experience, including frontline volunteer opportunities and informational discussions throughout the day.
Students began the day with a tour of Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing development in the country, and met the staff at our various Long Island City sites, to get a better understanding of our community. Students then spent time volunteering at the Bread of Life Food Pantry, where they sorted, packed, and distributed food.
After spending the morning out in the community, the students returned to the office to meet our CEO, Bishop Mitchell Taylor, and board member, Robin Dracos. The students learned more about the history of Urban Upbound and were given the opportunity to offer insight on how to improve our College Access program.
“My favorite moment was when they asked us about feedback regarding a program, and we spoke highly of how [a program at Baldwin Wallace] has helped me and some of my classmates,” says Mehraeel Saleh, a Junior Public Health Major at Baldwin Wallace. “Bishop, without hesitation, told the staff to make sure a similar program was started as soon as possible.”
After speaking with Bishop Taylor and Robin Dracos, students headed back out into the community to conduct an outreach survey to hear the challenges and needs of public housing residents. Urban Upbound’s programs are based on resident identified needs, and the team felt it was important for the student volunteers to see this process first hand.
The day concluded with a presentation from our Data & Evaluations Manager, Maggie Hutchison, highlighting our recent data and how we measure our impact.
“I really enjoyed meeting the people behind the scenes and all they do for the community. They were so welcoming and answered all the questions we had,” says says Mehraeel Saleh. “We met everyone from the secretary to the CEO, and it just felt like one big family working towards one goal.”
We look forward to welcoming another group of Baldwin Wallace student next summer!
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