National Fuel Meeting

By Maire E

It was around four in the afternoon when I walked into the downtown library for work, unaware of what we were going to do there. I met up with my fellow coworkers as we waited for Rebekah in the lobby. They reminded me that we were here for the National Fuel meeting. When Rebekah arrived we went in search of a place to sit, and have our own meeting - just Growing Green.

We found a place, settled down and immediately began a discussion on climate justice and what we thought of it. We broke down the term in order to grasp the full concept. This really allowed me to interpret my thoughts on the topic in a group setting. I always had a good idea of what the words meant to me, but to hear what others thought really gave me a different way to interpret the words by themselves and how they fit together.

Near the end of our work shift we were told that the National Fuel meeting was moved to later in the day and that we would not be able to go. However, we were able to go see and meet some of the protesters outside of the National Fuel Building. This showed how people are affected by climate change, and are fighting for justice. So, even though we were not able to go to the meeting, it was still great to meeting these people and see how dedicated they are to their cause, and standing up for what they believe in.

Pulling out eggplants

By Gabe C

One moment this fall I enjoyed the most was pulling out eggplants on Winter Street. Everyone in my group, but me, had a major problem with the dust that blew up from the newly exposed roots. When you pull the eggplants out of the ground wind blew dust from the roots into everyone's eyes. This gave me an odd sense of superiority where I felt extra productive. In the end, Levi washed his eyes and I took over pulling out eggplants for Dakota and Thaint.

By Levi B

It was a cold autumn morning on Saturday. Claire tasked me, Gabe, Dakota and Soliegh with pulling out the eggplants and collards greens. I didn't think about the random gusts of wind until IT happened.

As my coworker Gabe was pulling out a plant stormy winds swept through the areas and caused dirt from the roots to blow into my face. I brushed off all the soil, but my eyes began to burn. They stung so badly I felt as if someone was using a cheese grater on my eyes. 

I love sugar!

By Ingabire A

On Tuesday we had a guest speaker to tell us more about sugar. Her name was Kristen and she is a student at the University of Buffalo. She started out by asking us what we had eaten that day that did not contain sugar. Everybody went around saying what they had eaten that didn't have sugar in it. When my time came the first thing I said was: "I love sugar!" Everyone busted out laughing. I didn't answer the question asked, but I was being honest about how I feel about sugar.

When everyone finally finished, Kristen started telling us about sugar - the good effects that it has on people and the bad effects too. We had some difficulties with computers, so we had to gather together and look at the screen of a small laptop for her presentation.

Lastly, I really thought about my diet and am trying to decrease the sugar I eat.

Planning for the March Meeting

By Sophia B

We, the youth at the Massachusetts Avenue Project, are planning a meeting in March. This winter we will introduce to MAP staff, board and community members the initiatives we are working on, and to get them to join us to make positive change.

One of the initiatives that I have worked on is the Healthy Corner Store Project. This summer I was able to go canvassing and got the peoples point of view. While canvassing, I was able to translate to come people who didn't speak English. This made me feel honored. Asking people who are not familiar with the initiative was interesting because they were able to share with us what they go through and how healthy corner stores would help them. For instance, many people live near a corner store, and don't have a car, so they just shop at the corner store where the food is unhealthy. This is one of the reasons the March meeting is important.

Working on something as amazing as this made me feel that I am part of something bigger than myself. To me, that is priceless.

Speaker about sugar

By Thaint T

So, this was the second week of work - I forgot the exact date, but we were at the center. A speaker from UB named Kristen came during the second hour of work to talk about sugar. We were having trouble with the computer and projector so I wondered "how in the world will she have enough time for what she's here to talk about?" So, she ended up having about 45 minutes left and she just used her laptop. No one could see, so we ended up bunched like a pack of hotdogs. It was cold in the building anyways, so as hotdogs we warmed up a bit.

Kristen when through her presentation about sugar. We also went around telling each other what we ate that we thought didn't have sugar in it. Low and behold, everything that everyone ate contained sugar.

At the end of the presentation we did an activity. Everyone got a packaged snack product. We calculated how much sugar was in the snack, and measured that amount of white sugar into a cup. My snack was sugar free Red Bull. It didn't have any sugar in it, but I knew it had a sugar substitute. After this, I still haven't stopped eating sugar products though.

One cold afternoon

By Dakota P

It was a cold October afternoon when Isa, Levi, Thaint, Maire, Birch, Sophia and I had a work shift at the downtown library. Here is what we did that day:

First, we read an article on why they were raising the fuel rates, even though some people can't afford it. Then, Sophia and I acted as facilitators for the group. We discussed what climate justice and climate change means, and wrote our ideas down on a big poster sheet. After that, we had Birch be our note taker and Isa be the facilitator on what kind of questions we would ask the community at the January meeting that we are planning.

After that, we walked in front of the National Fuel Building and there were people who were shouting stuff like "this is cruel!" We joined in on the protest chanting "this is unfair!" and "this is cruel for raising the gas bill!"

Going to see Randi Zuckerberg at UB

By Isabella A

Last week I got invited to hear Randi Zuckerberg speak at the University of Buffalo Distinguished Speaker Series along with other coworkers and I was excited. I got driven there by Claire with Maire and Gabe. It was so cold, and when we got there I was really hyper because it was my first time at UB seeing a distinguished speaker. The stadium was so huge and I walked around before Randi spoke. I talked to the people that greet you when you walk into the stadium, and then went all the way to the top of the stadium and saw everything from above. I also went into the bathroom and saw a sticky note that said
"smile today is your day."
When I saw Randi speak it was cool because she was funny. She talked about an app called Zombies Run that makes you run faster because you think you're getting chased by zombies. She also talked about something called google cardboard where you put your phone in it and you don't have to touch your phone to play a game. I even sent in a question asking if she spoke to her belly button, but she didn't answer it. Overall, it was a great evening!

What has sugar in it?

The cup contains the amount of sugar in a can of Red Bull
By Messiah M

At my job we were sitting down. Then a lady came in. She didn't say much when she first entered. But the first thing she asked us was
what did you eat today that did not contain sugar?
What everyone didn't know is that nearly everything has sugar in it. She explained to us that vegetables, fruits and other healthy things have sugar in them. She also taught us all sugar isn't white and there are other varieties of sugar.

I learned that sugar can come from sugar cane and sugar beets. They are two different plants, but the sugar inside of them is the same and will taste identical after it's fully processed.

Getting to know each other better

By Cameron L

It was the first day of working at MAP this fall. A lady named Izzy introduced herself, and told us a little about herself like where she was from and what she did.

After all of us got settled and came in, she had us do an activity which involved a paper bag and a piece of paper. Then we had to draw a picture of the person in front of us without looking, not letting go of the paper or pen. At the end, we signed the picture we drew and gave it to the person.
Later, we did another activity. Next to our portrait we had to write five things about ourselves, but one of those five things had to be a lie. We had to introduce ourselves to another person, and they had to guess which was the lie. When all that was done, we knew each other better.

A typical Saturday on the farm

One Saturday at the farm, it was a typical morning of moving mulch. Ugh. Everyone working on the farm that morning was tired out and dragging their feet as they shoveled and transported what seemed like and endless number of wheelbarrows overflowing with the dirty tree guts.

Suddenly, Claire yells
It was as if the weight of the world was lifted off of our shoulders and the sun had come out from behind the clouds on the dreariest day of the century with the glorious command.

We finished emptying out last borrow with a newfound anticipation, and ran to the green beans with rejuvenated energy. We spent the rest of our newly exciting work shift happily chatting among the green been beds. In the final minutes before our shift was up, we got to top of the great day at the farm by bringing home a plethora of farm fresh vegetables.

43 grams of sugar in Skittles!

By Win T

Okay, so  there was a lady named Kristin from the University of Buffalo. She is studying dietetics and nutrition and made me see a type of food differently. Last week she came to my job at MAP and talked to us about sugar. She explained where sugar comes from, and how it is processed.

It amazed me how much sugar is in a pack of skittles. It made me love science even more than I already do.

The activity was informative and I really enjoyed it. It showed me the negative and positive effects of an everyday food item. A positive effect of sugar is that is provides us energy for our body. But, a negative effect is that too much can cause diabetes.

What have we done at MAP this fall?

By Mariama M

It was a Monday and after school, so everyone was kind of tired ya know?

So, a woman named Izzy had come to our workplace with activities to wake us up on the first day of work. She started off telling us about herself, but not too much. Then she handed these bags that had paper inside them - and that was it.

 So, we were all just wanting for her to instruct us on what to do. Then she says "we are going to be doing some drawings, but not of ourselves, but the person across from us." And we couldn't look inside of the bag while we're drawing either.

So, everyone's just trying not to look, and just joking and giggling around. Everyone was still trying to finish the drawings when time was called. A lot of the works were actually pretty good, and people were joking about how accurate the drawings were (which they weren't). But, it was a really fun experience to draw other people and then compare how you drew them and how they drew you.

So, all in all it was really fun and relaxing on the first day of work.