My preconceived notion of the inner city was that “good people were in bad situations.” The inner city had lack of resources, funds and social capital. This perception is definitely a reality! There is one thing that I have noticed about Rochester that I missed- THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
The lack of funding tends to be one of my biggest challenges in terms of marketing! We cannot use newspapers, radio ads and/or attend certain events. We have to depend on “free” which can be hard in these economic times! I wanted to celebrate the Alumni Volunteers that participated this year to say thank you and help kick off year 2 of the Alumni-Engagement program by having a small event! This is nearly impossible since there is no budget. It would give the volunteers the chance to meet and the people behind the Alumni – Engagement program and promote the program by having pictures on Facebook ect.
The movie was an introduction to the challenges that I will be facing this year. I am fighting against broken perceptions, racial wounds and hopelessness. Working or helping the Rochester City School District (RCSD) has become somewhat “humorous” or some kind of joke unknown to me. I have heard conversations stating “well the ever since the riot” or “well ever since then” that has dampened the hope of improvement.
Tour de Rochester!
Recognizing the strengths of the community of Rochester was fundamental to starting my year of service. Rochester has strong pivotal history, arts and sciences and Rochesterian pride! Knowing this, as a VISTA , has helped me relate to the people I am working with and become familair with the culture Rochester. On the tour of Rochester, I remember being fascinated by all the history that has taken place. (When I first can up here 5 years ago the general information about Rochester was they had Wegmans and garbage plates.) Being a young woman (with an election underway) there is an incredible feeling to know that Susan B Anthony, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubmans’ have fought oppression/poverty in the same community that I will be serving this year!