It may be the last day of this intersession, but in my eyes this class will last for the rest of our lives. This experience was not only about seeing what is occurring and helping out for a couple of days in the “bad side of town”. The bigger objective was to jumpstart our determination for positive movement. This trip will never be forgotten, because now everyone in the class is beginning to plan ways to change what we saw and experienced.
We were given the task of creating an Action Plan which we hope to follow for the rest of our lives. We started out with personal things that we would like to start as soon as possible. People chose causes that were important to them, like homelessness and animal rights. I chose to broaden my audience when I teach how to combat our current environmental problems. As I described in a previous post, the past few summers I have taught environmental aspects to children and I want to bring some of the lessons to students on campus. I am not sure of the logistics yet, but will hopefully get the ball rolling on this project soon.
As a group we decided to propose two main ideas to help our local community. The first is to use extra meal plan money at the end of the year to buy food for the homeless. Thinking about how I will have about $800 extra at the end of the year myself, this will make a HUGE difference for local food banks if many people do the same. If only 200 people donate an extra $500 worth of food, the local banks will get $100,000 worth of food. Our campus is much bigger than 200 people, so this project does not seem too far fetched. The other project was to ask local restaurants to charge a 1% surcharge on all bills over $100 that will be donated to the nearby shelters. This will make a monumental difference for the shelters, because Miami created a similar program that gave 9 billion dollars to shelters each year. This is another small thing that people can do that will positively affect a great number of people.
The final step in our action plan is to pick a job that will create positive change in our world. I aspire to be a marine biologist at an aquarium where I can continue to educate children on our environment. By working with the education program at the aquarium I will promote progress and the children will be able to create a better future for the environment. It will start a chain reaction which will hopefully end in a well-respected world.
I am going to end my final blog post with a quote by Nicholas Murray Butler. Hopefully it will inspire you to make changes just how I have been inspired by this immersion trip.
“There are three kinds of people; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.”