VOICE: bringing complementary strengths


VOICE is an collaborative group that involves youth from three NGOs in the Bronx: ACTION at the Point, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, and Rocking the Boat, whose goal is to improve the environment and communities along the lower Bronx River. These organizations have different strengths: some of them have more expertise in environmental stewardship and restoration, or environmental monitoring and easier access the Bronx River ecosystems, or connecting environmental restoration with environmental activism. The Voice, governed mostly by youth from three NGOs, is designed to bring these diverse strengths together to benefit the Bronx communities.

On March 18th, 2009, VOICE has organized a meeting to interactively introduce some youth who were new to these NGOs into environmental issues in the Bronx. For example, young people were brainstorming about current environmental problems and solutions that they may implement later. Of course, I could not miss this meeting conducted in the Point Community Development Corporation and came from Ithaca to the Bronx to participate in this event. Toniann German from Rocking the Boat has helped me to put together a presentation about my research project, which has been received by youth very well. This meeting helped me to get feedback about my research project from youth, which was very important because last year I discussed this research mostly with environmental educators. I feel that some of youth who I met with in this event would be glad to participate in the study of sense of place, ecosystem services, and community mapping.