MAP Youth Help Out Clean Air Coalition

Hi, my name is Solamon Thang Ha and I am a youth worker at Massachusetts Ave Project. When we had a MAP Growing Green big group meeting, one of my bosses, Rebekah mentioned that I could sign up to work for the Clean Air Coalition for couple of hours. The next day, I went to the Clean Air Coalition’s office and discussed what I would be doing with them. They told me that we would be going to streets in the community and telling residents about what is going on in their neighborhood, which is the Department of Transportation’s proposal to spend $28.5 million on remodeling the Peace Bridge Plaza.

The Clean Air Coalition is a non-profit organization that wants the residents of Western New York to have better health. Their mission is to build power by developing grassroots leaders who organize their communities in order to run and win environmental justice and public health campaigns in Western New York.

We went to door to door throughout the neighborhood and told them what was going on, and the effects that the Peace Bridge Plaza Remodeling Project will bring to them, their families, and their neighbors. The project will increase the amount of trucks traveling in the area and increase air pollution. We gave the residents post cards that included our office address, contact information, and the possible negative effects of the Peace Bridge Plaza Remodeling Project on their neighborhood. After that, we asked them to attend a meeting we will be hosting in preparation for the big public meeting.

What I like about working with the Clean Air Coalition is that they are non-profit organization and they are helping communities around Western New York. What I like best about working with the Clean Air Coalition is letting the residents know what is going on in their community and about negatives effects that the Peace Bridge Plaza Remodeling Project will bring to them and their neighborhood. Working with the Clean Air Coalition and MAP is similar in many ways. Both of the organizations are non-profit and both of the organizations’ missions are about helping the residents in the community to have better health. Helping the community something I enjoy doing and both MAP and the Clean Air Coalition have allowed me the opportunity to do that. Everyone should be willing to step up and help their neighbors and community.

MAP Holiday Sales

By Orion Valentin

This past Saturday I went to Buffalo Seminary, which is an all girls’ school. Buffalo Seminary had an event where people came in and there were different tables with people selling a bunch of different things. Katie, Mariah, and I sold a lot of MAP products, like mugs, salsa, chili-starter, and t-shirts.  People especially liked the mugs and chili-starter. One couple even bought four mugs and a chili-starter!

We also had gift boxes there for sale. The gift boxes came in two options, one included a mug and chili-starter, and another had the mug and a salsa. We didn’t sell any gift boxes though, because people wanted either just a mug, just a chili-starter, or just a salsa. No one wanted the gift boxes that we pre-made.  We made the gift boxes three weeks ago at work, and are selling them now.

The thing I liked about the sale at Buffalo Seminary is how all the people I talked to were nice.  I learned about the people’s personalities and met a lot of people who like to buy and try new things. A lot of people bought our mugs. They said it was cute how the mugs could be used as a flower pot or a mug.

MAP Youth Futures Program

By Aweso Noor

This is the beginning of something great. In my opinion, sooner or later, MAP is going to breed many young gentlemen and gentlewomen. MAP’s youth employees are being offered a program that’ll ensure success.

Many will wonder what the MAP Youth Futures Program is. I’d respond with, the program is geared toward MAP youth, but I think it should accept anyone who wants to get involved in it.  It just started on December 4th and it’s meant to support youth post high school graduation.  It’s a great program for us to learn more about college and careers. Youth will get a feel of different majors, college life, and the college process through different guest speakers.

The MAP Youth Futures Program happens once a month during Growing Green’s big group meetings.  The program lasts for approximately 30 minutes.  Each month a new guest speaker is present to speak on behalf of the majors they studied in college and related to their work experience.

Last Wednesday was the first day, the program was kick-started with Candice Cooke who came to speak about her career as an Engineer at General Motors (GM) and being an engineering major in college.  Personally, I’ve taken a few things out of the talk she gave.  She went on to talk even further on her internships while in college, how her hard work as an intern led to her hiring at GM.

This program is in its young stage but I’m optimistic that it’s a great program with many benefits for everyone involved.

A word from the author: My name is Aweso Noor.  I’m a MAP youth employee currently working in the school year program.  I’ve been a part of MAP since the summer of 2013 and I’m looking forward to working in the 2014 summer program as well.  This school year will mark the end of my high school career at Canisius High School.  After the summer, I’m anxious to go on to college with the hope of playing college basketball.  A life full of new experiences, friends, and success awaits.  I just have to make it happen.  Let me end with one of my favorite quotes, “Success has been and continues to be defined as getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down”. - Unknown