Working Through Covid with Neena!

MAP's Youth Education Director

MAP Youth Khadija & Neena having fun!

"I was first hired as MAPs Youth Education Director in June. Fresh off of my Zoom graduation and weeks of quarantining I was ready to get to work. With about a month to prepare, the summer program would have to be completely reevaluated to include Covid-19 restrictions. This meant wearing masks, having less teens, canceling any Big Group Meetings (where we have ALL teens together), having only virtual field trips, and staying 6 feet from one another. At the start of the summer program it became quite apparent the toll the pandemic had begun to take on everyone. For many of the youth MAP became the place to get what life was lacking, whether that be social interaction, money, or support. With this in mind I tried to adapt the best I could to meet these needs. During work, I was their educator but after I was their tutor, mentor, and friend.

I am so proud of the resilience that they’ve showed during theses trying times. As an organization we’ve also had to be resilient for the health of each other and the diverse communities we serve. It is ever apparent that Covid-19 has impacted not only peoples health but the loss of jobs, and lack of government support has increased need. To meet this need we’ve adapted with a wider rang of products, socially distance shopping at the Market, and new affordable ways to pay for produce. Despite the various challenges were ending this year on a high. We’ve learned a lot grown in the process and we’re stronger because of it."