Meet Pepper!

Hi, my name is Pepper and I’m 16 years old. I have lived in Buffalo, NY my whole life. I am a junior at City Honors High School. So far, it is going better than my previous years of high school. 

I enjoy playing the violin, and I have played since I was in 4th grade. I have worked at MAP in the summer since 2016 but this year is my first time working at MAP during the school year. Working during the school year has been a good experience so far. Sometimes it is a challenge to work and go to high school at the same time, but it has not been too overwhelming. 

I love working at MAP because I am always learning new things and I have fun working here. My favorite part of the job is when we work on the farm in the youth garden. I am not totally sure what I want to study in college, but I want to find a career that will interest me throughout my life. As far as food goes, my favorite vegetable is green beans and my favorite fruit is blueberries. I plan to work at MAP during both the school year and the summer until I graduate high school.

Meet Gabe!

My name is Gabriel and I have worked at the Massachusetts Avenue Project for two years.  Being originally from the Philippines, food has always been a large part of my life, which created a well-rounded view of food that is integral to a healthy lifestyle. MAP is an excellent place for me as it allows me to fulfill my needs for engaging in social justice, establishing healthy work relationships, and exploring new and diverse issues, all while enabling me to maintain my strong focus on academics. Currently, I am a graduating junior at International-Prep, where I am preparing to enroll in college. I hope to study some form on engineering, while still engaging and participating in some of the many wonderful endeavors MAP promotes. I hope that I am able to give back to my community a heightened level of importance regarding social issues most people ignore and a furthered sense of inter-communal co-operation.

Meet Nina!

My name is Nina. I was born in the Congo and went to Kenya because of the war.
I finally came to the United States in 2014. When I arrived in the U.S., it looked different from everything I ever saw; the tall buildings, the people, and the food. I’ve been here for three years. I got involved with MAP when I started seeing my sister going to these cool events and saving money. I asked her how I could get a job too, and she said I have to be fourteen in order to work. Working at MAP was my goal. I turned fourteen and now this is my first year working at MAP. I love going to the speaker series and other field trips because I get to know more about what people are trying to do to help the community and also influence the world.

I’m a freshman at McKinley High School and I really enjoy going to school and working after school. I have good grades and I often finish my work at school. I want to be able to finish high school because my parents never got to graduate. After I graduate, I want to go to University at Buffalo and study medicines because I really want to feel like I impact someone’s life. I love jumping rope when I am not at school or working. I always feel like I am flying when I jump rope. Getting my education is the most important thing in the world because I feel like without education I have nothing. Having an education could give me more opportunities and will help me make money. When I earn money, I love to keep it for something special like buying my favorite snack. I love eating a donut.

Meet Lay Dia!

My name is Lay Dia and I am 17 years old. I was born in Thailand. When I was seven, my family decided to move to America to start a new life. Life in Thailand was great and lively but my parents wanted us to have a better future so they brought us to American. They have sacrificed a lot for me and my sisters so I am very thankful. I moved to Buffalo in 2007 and started a new life here. I continue to live in Buffalo and I have learned and experienced many new things here.

During the fall of 2007, my friend introduced me to her job. I told her I wanted to get a job and she told me about MAP. I went through the interview process and I am really glad that they saw potential in me and accepted me to the program. I have been working with MAP for almost four months. I love to work at the garden and draw. However, I don't always enjoy writing in MAP unless I am interested in the topic. 

I go to Hutch Tech and I am a junior so it is really stressful and important year for me to focus on my education. Sometimes working and going to school at the same time can be challenging because by the time I come to work I am already worn out from school so I get really tired. Tiredness and laziness is often a challenge for me so it is my goal to stay healthy so I don't get worn out.

School is the main focus of my life and I am really focused. My goal for my academic portion is to do really well so that I can have a bright future. I plan on graduating high school, going to college, getting a profession that I enjoy, and spending the rest of my life traveling. 

Outside of school, I love to sleep, watch movies, and babysit my seven month old baby sister. She is really cute so I really adore her. I love to feed her and carry her. 

My favorite food to eat are instant ramen noodles. I know it is unhealthy but it tastes so delicious. I love to purchase instant ramen noodles so I guess I am giving back to the community since my purchases benefit business people to help our economy. I spend I a lot of my money on food.

There are many goals I have in life. One of my most important goals is to give back to my community by helping others.When I become a doctor, I want to go back to my country and help improve the healthcare system. Another goal I have for myself is to grow as a person intellectually. I also want to  travel and cherish the memories and knowledge I learn while traveling. This is the reason why the money I earn from MAP is saved for my future plan. 

I love to eat and so does my family. When I was younger, back in Thailand, my family loved to plant bananas and pick bamboo shoots. We sometimes boil the bamboo and eat it with fish paste. My mom also cooks bamboo with pork and it is really unique and delicious. The memories of my family and our love for food is something that I really cherish.

I have lived in the United States for almost ten years and each day my experiences help me grow as an individual. I learn more about myself and those are details that I want to share with you guys.

Meet Thaint!

Hi, my name is Thaint and I am 16 years old. I’ve been in the United States for about 13 years now. Buffalo has been the first city for my family and probably the last for them, but not for me. My biggest goal is to definitely travel, whether it’s a million places or one.

I’m from Burma, well, the border between Burma and Thailand. My parents came here mostly to live a better life.

I’ve been at MAP for the last four years. To be honest, I first came for money, and I ended up staying for the staff and friends. I go to Hutch-Tech and have been there for three years. With the money I earn, I save for traveling purposes.

My favorite vegetable is spinach and kale right now. My favorite part of the food system is distribution.

When I was a kid, me and my family would sit around and make food and just chat over food. Lastly, my goal is to be happy and travel.

The most important thing in the world right now is togetherness. Working at MAP helps me get together with people from different cultures and collaborate.

Interior Work Begins in #OurFarmhouse!

#OurFarmhouse Construction Update: 
Interior Work Begins!

This is such an exciting time at the Farmhouse with "all hands-on deck" inside now that the building is weather tight. Windows and doors were installed last week and the waterproof membrane on the roof finished just in the nick of time before we got all that snow last week. Framing is near completion on the first and second floor, with the third floor finishing up next week. 
Farmhouse Construction Update:
  • HVAC, plumbing, and electrical rough-in is near completion.
  • Stairs to the third floor have been installed and framing is nearing completion.
  • Weatherproof membrane has been secured to the roof.
  • Boarding of interior walls has begin.

Photos of the construction progress are always available HERE.

Meet Win!

My name is Win and I was born in a little village in Thailand. I came to the United States when I was about two years old and I have stayed for almost 13 years with my family. I started working with MAP in 2016 so it has been almost three years. I initially started my work with MAP because I needed money but stayed because of what I learned. My favorite thing about working with MAP is learning. I love learning about the problems in the world and the solutions to them. As much as I like working at MAP, there are few things that I dread. The thing I like least about working at MAP is farming on a summer day and sitting in a long boring meeting. High school is hard but it's even harder with a job and being only 15, the biggest challenge/issue with that is time management. I go to Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. I am a sophomore there and I cannot wait to get out of there. The goal is to graduate as a junior and get a head start on my nursing career. That's the most important thing to me at the moment.

Meet Aye!

So, who am I? To start off, my name is Aye. I am 16 years old. I am currently a sophomore student at Hutch-Tech. I speak Karen and English and I have lived in the United States for almost 7 years. To go deeper into my background, I was born in a refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar border. My family fled from the civil war in our home country which led us to the U.S. I’ve lived and grew up in a refugee camp for most of my life. I love this country, the United States, dearly and look forward to becoming a citizen. I’m always thankful and grateful that my parents brought us to the U.S. because the people here are caring and friendly. This country provides me the best education I could ever ask for. It is hard to get an education in refugee camp. This is a little information about my background.

I started working at MAP in October of 2017. So far, I’ve enjoyed working here. My favorite part of the job at MAP is working in the farm, especially when we planted the garlic. I also encounter challenges on the farm, such as picking weeds, but working on the farm is still my favorite part of working here. MAP is my first step that will lead to my career job. Although I may not be sure what job field I would like to be in the future, I have some interest in working as a dentist, elementary school teacher and maybe a Registered Nurse.

Working at MAP gave me the opportunity to save up my money for my trip back to my home country. I always want to visit my family back home and brag about how wonderful America is.

There are a lot of things I like to do when I’m free. I like to research things about my background such as my language, country, and people. I also like to research and get to know more about other ethnic groups and their languages. I’ve been editing at Wikipedia for maybe more than a year. I only edit the S’gaw Karen language page so don’t worry about me messing up other pages at Wikipedia. I edit the S’gaw Karen language page because there was nothing on the page when I first discovered it. I speak that language and have knowledge about that language so I started adding information to the page. I look through other pages as an example to building the S’gaw Karen language article page. I have not added a lot when comparing to other languages articles but I added probably 10 times the information that it originally had in the article. I am proud of myself for doing that.

My favorite food is ramen noodles and spicy mango salad. My favorite vegetables are kidney beans and broccoli.

My favorite part of the food system is the producer or production because without them we wouldn’t have as much food as we have today. For example the farmers work so hard to produce many kind and many varieties of vegetables and raise a lot of animals for the community to eat.

So there’s a time when me and my family had to walk through the snow and get groceries and food. At the time, we were new to the country and we were not used to the new environment but we needed to get food. Our whole family walks to the store so we could carry more food home. The weather was also bad. It was a struggle but I don’t think it is as bad as running away from the soldier and crossing dangerous rivers to safety. This is an example of when me and my family encounter challenges when it comes to getting food. There may be challenges my family may had encounter in refugee camp in order to get food and survive but I don’t remember any.