Filling out the application for SSP, I already knew what to expect. I knew there were going to be team building activities, informative seminars, and friendly mentors and youth. First day I arrived, everything was true. The first week was quite interesting. I’ve learned many things about my team members and the neighborhood we were assigned to. Meeting everyone was a great experience because they were very open and welcoming for new relationships. Throughout the week my team has risen as one and boosted my energy level to get me through the days.
Although I travel through Greater Grand Crossing area often I never noticed how the neighborhood needs to improve. What really impressed me were the friendly or “southern hospitality” residents. I’ve learned Greater Grand Crossing has a food drought and Gary Comer Youth Center plays an important role in the community to produce fresh food. I also grasped the resident’s experiences about their neighborhood-some like consistency whereas others want change. Many residents have stated that the community doesn’t function as a community to support each other. Overall, the majority of the residents aren’t satisfied with their community and believe it needs a drastic change.
Being a part of SSP brings joy to me because I know we’ll improve each neighborhood some way, some how. I know that my team will come together and create a fantastic project that the community will enjoy and appreciate. Week 1 showered me with a lot of information that I will take into consideration now that the problems of Greater Grand Crossing have been identified.