Students have contributed their time to help make the city of Newburgh a better place by volunteering at a community foundation known as Blacc Vanilla. The Blacc Vanilla Community Foundation is a non profit enterprise which looks to bring people together to make a stronger community. The Blacc Vanilla Community Foundation (also known as BVCF) is making Newburgh better and better however they can not do all the work alone. BVCF is partnered with many other associations like SHRED, which is a foundation that uses skateboarding and snowboarding culture to provide life and career opportunities, RUPCO Construction, Choice Films Inc. and Umbra Studios. BVCF has collaborated with these programs because they want to help Newburgh residents develop valuable skills and job training through a number of programs that promote economic self-sufficiency. However, BVCF not only needs the help of these partnerships but also the help of many civilians as well.
Not only does BVCF build up residents ‘skills, but also brightens the community by creating events at which people can volunteer. BVCF has spread joy throughout, the city of Newburgh by making events big or small like “100 Bikes for 100 Children”. The event gave one-hundred kids a bicycle as well as a map that features landmarks of Newburgh and safety spots, lights, and helmets for safety. However this event isn’t as big as the other event BVCF has done that P-Tech students helped with, which is a crosswalk painting by South street. The event was planned from the start with the help of some students from Newburgh Free Academy P-TECH.
This event had students volunteering to help paint two mural pieces on two crosswalks. This event also helped raise money for future events so that students can continue volunteering to help their community by selling merchandise for the event. Along with helping the community, students were also given the opportunity of practicing professional skills such as communication, collaboration, and leadership. Some of the jobs these students had as volunteers included painting, supply management, spreading important messages across the work space, and helping at the cash register for the merchandise. The students who volunteered all seem to be very passionate about the community. “Something that motivated me was that it was going to have an impact on the community.” Said Angelica Ramirez, one of the student volunteers.
Another great thing that came out of this event was that it also allowed a lot of the community members to come together. Anyone who walked by the event was allowed the chance to contribute in the project. “I felt excited to meet with people who I had not seen in more than a year” said Sugey Vaquero, another one of the students who volunteered. It’s great that this event was able to help bring a community together. It’s something that is especially need in the modern age we live in.
It’s very important that students are allowed the opportunity to volunteer because it allows them to work towards making things better. They are the next generation and the community that they will live in will be a community that they helped make better. Christine Mccartney, one of the teachers who supervised for the event and informed the students of it said this, “My goal is to get students involved in our community as much as possible so they can feel ownership over the direction our city is moving.”
Through this event, students were given the opportunity to practice several professional skills. Along with also being able to help out there community and uniting them together. When asked if they would like to be a part of future projects and events, every student said they would love to continue being involved in volunteer work for the community.