Freshmen Serve Their Community

By Staff Writer Isabella Mezzaroba

Blue Stream posing for SLAmedia
Blue Stream posing for SLAmedia

SLA’s Blue and Green Stream freshmen are taking on Semester of Service projects. They were asked, by their African American History teacher Pearl Jonas, to pick a community need and address it. Their approach to this project is reflected by their goals and plans for a lasting impact.

Blue stream was more than willing to speak about their project and what inspired them

“We decided we wanted to work with kids. Our first thought was to work in hospitals but we’re too young. Then we thought why don’t we work in schools?” said Freshman Eva Karlen.

They will be partnering with Russell Byers Charter School, only a few blocks away from SLA on 19th and Arch. They are planning on tutoring and helping children. The kids split up into committees and work together to accomplish their goals.

“We’re writing stories about historical people and places in Philadelphia so we can tie it into African American history.” says Freshman Micheala Peterson, a student in the History and Book Design committee.

They spoke about their idea to write storybooks about our city’s history to read to the children, plus a long list of other ways to teach the kids.

“We’re mentoring them by helping them in the classrooms, we’re gonna read them the books, work outside with them.” says Freshman Dominique Ballinger who is a part of the Logistics committee.

They aim to have a lasting impact on the community.

“We’re gonna aim for this to be a long term thing.” says Eva Karlen

“We want them to have a sense of community pride, it starts a chain reaction.” states Micheala Peterson.

“Yeah. People think we (teens) are lazy as hell. We’re trying to change that.” Freshman Amanda Bolli, member of the Outreach committee, agrees.

Throughout the entire interview, Freshmen Jaime Vaquero was snapping pictures of his fellow classmates and I. When I asked him about it, he explained that he and freshman Julianna Concepcion are a part of the Social Media committee. They run the project’s Twitter, Instagram, and blog.

“It’s to show people our mission,” They said.

Check out the Russell Byers project at:

Instagram- SLA_service


Twitter- SLA_Service


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