Sophia's New York City experience

By Sophia B

The trip I went on to New York City with MAP was one of the best experiences I have had in my senior year of high school. The trip gave me knowledge about the environment and structures of the different schools I have applied to, communication with different people in different schools, and careers that I’m interested in. I learned more, got a clearer picture of who I want to be, and where I see myself after high school, and that was a priceless opportunity.

On our drive to New York; our first stop was Syracuse University’s Falk College and the Food Studies Department. One of MAP’s alumni, Neena, had given us a little bit of background on the Food Studies Department before the trip because she is excited to be a part of Syracuse University. The environment and diversity on campus is welcoming. So, while on campus I realized “Wow Neena was right. I can see myself coming here”. We talked to the professors in the food studies program and exchanged knowledge with them. After this wonderful experience at Syracuse we were now on our way to New York City.

In New York we stayed at American Youth Hostel, one of the largest hostels in the country. This place was epic, cheap and definitely a place to meet new people with a completely different background from you. Most of them are from other countries and want to learn more about America and will teach you about their countries. We stayed there for free because it was a hostels give back and in return we made them dinner for one night as community service. While we made dinner people came to us with questions. For instance, how it like to live as a teenager in America, the challenges and what we liked about it. We also had question for them but I was more interested in learning the different languages they spoke. I learned how to say hi in Brazilian, Swiss and stole some of the German's accent.

It was a breath taking experience touring New York City for it was my first time there. What I can say about it? We visited New York University, The New School and Columbia University. All this schools had one thing in common: students with urban minds. I took a look at the places they spend most of their time in and their views on it. For example Adam, one of our alumni, has only been at NYU for not even a year, but he was confident with the city and most importantly he knew mostly every part of the city. Before that I was nervous because the city seemed big, so he took that burden away from me. He also gave advice on why I should choose New York City for college.

We also met with other teenagers who do the same work we do at MAP relating to food justice and policy work. We come together to join hands in the uplifting food and food justice as one of the issues that will be at The People’s Climate March in Washington DC in April.

This trip was definitely worth it for me because the experience I had in just three days was incredible; it was a college road trip, a vacation, learning experience and meeting new friends rolled up into one. A huge thanks to everyone who made this possible and to Bekah who believed it was going to happen when I had given up on it.

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