Have you made any collaborations in the community thus far? If so, which ones are you most excited about, and if not, what are some partnerships you would like to make? How are you hoping to foster these collaborations during your year of service?
I am incredibly excited to have built the collaborations and partnerships I have throughout these past few months with Rochester Youth Year. CITIZEN U has itself a variety of partnerships: The City of Rochester (especially the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development and the Bureau of Recreation and Youth Services), Rochester AmeriCorps, Northeast Area Development (NEAD), the Youth Services Quality Council (YSQC), Community Asset Partner Network (CAPN), Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, and 4-H. While I have had the opportunity to learn about some of these partners in the past, my position with Rochester Youth Year has allowed me to delve deep into what these organizations do, how they operate, and how we may all be able to benefit one another. This is ultimately necessary in any line of non-profit (and even for-profit) work. Because I intend to stay in Rochester, at least for a little while longer, I am excited to further explore these collaborations, as well as others, throughout the rest of my time as a VISTA.
Personally, I am most excited for the partnerships I have built with RCSD. Having another RYY Fellow to reach out to at various high schools has been a godsend in trying to further connect with Rochester schools. These collaborations are necessary for my program because they allows us to create a more holistic approach when dealing with some of the issues our youths face. Still, it is just as great a resource for me personally because I am so interested in education policy and implementation. I am thankful that, while CITIZEN U is not directly involved with the RCSD, I have the opportunity to learn more about this field. I look forward to further developing these partnerships by collaborating on community improvement projects, involving each other with outreach opportunities, and being there to support each other when it comes to our youth.
The Rochester Youth Year community is itself a great group to be a part of, as all of the Fellows and facilitators are incredibly helpful and creative with their insights. I am just as excited, if not more so, to foster more collaborations with my fellow Fellows and their host sites throughout the rest of my year.