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.