WWL>Topics>>08-28 Community Matters with Monica Pierre

08-28 Community Matters with Monica Pierre

Aug 28, 2016|

WWL’s Monica Pierre discusses various community projects and services that benefit the infrastructure of Greater New Orleans.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Good Sunday and welcome to the show's thank you so much for joining us today I'm your host Monica pier coming up where he. You please all of these young people to really make a difference in their living now a lot. More important in education the education focused nonprofit city year celebrates a decade of making a difference in New Orleans. Luck so we decided to do something. Bringing this to New Orleans to show that new wounds was never forgotten. New Orleans area firefighters host a Memorial Day airline to honor first responders who lost their lives on 9/11. And it's incredible what the quality difference in terms that we that you just. That's been grown in soil Rafer yeah. Growth that youth farm in city park teaches students how to grow fresh produce and learning valuable life lessons in the process. But city year be education nonprofit dedicated to keeping local at risk youth in school and on track to graduate is ten years will celebrate the tenth year of service in New Orleans good to talk about the tenth anniversary and the roles a year. Has played in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina is blared triple. Development director of city year. Tell you know I'm a rainy and I think yeah not thank you for having us to really appreciate it. It's ten years it apparently it had been right crazy a time buys we'll go back in time of day so why did city year. Think it was important to immediately arrived into. The city after Katrina Russell originally when city or was founded we were. Specifically physical service and selling our education and focused but at that time we were very much physical service a lot of service projects and that sort of thing and soul when Katrina hit there was a lot of just I'm obviously a lot of disaster relief and we were just a perfect fit into the air one of our board of trustees. Jenny Wright from Baton Rouge looked at what had happened here and really push hard and galvanize a lot of the community leaders because. It was a team of 45 volunteers. From Baton Rouge and 45 might actually do the right. Remember exactly what but still a small town are and it's a teen and you could. You know we knew it was boots on the ground an extra help gas you have that is giving hands into the journey and I boots on the ground that type thing. So when the shift. Happened to education. Seven years ago. Is when it really started shifting we were. We hadn't really. Looked like so there's so many issues in America there's so many issues that need teen to young people that. Can really make a difference alone. Figure leadership in and out of Boston that when. Educators. Experts from Johns Hopkins University to figure out. We're could be and you'll be placed all of these young people to really make a difference in really pressing issues and there's really not a lot more. Important an education because it really filters into everything you know when you can think about crime you can think of all these different things. And education is a part of absolutely so it's but an actual transition and then his ship so what does that work look like. I know ten years later but also says you can't concentrate on education. So we have so in New Orleans specifically behalf 45 corps members. We serve teens five schools right now come with first find schools and so we need do eight to ten. Our members in teens in each school and so what they do is they provide. Actual capacity and they provide specialized attention for kids who are behind. So what we do was work very closely the teachers have worked very closely with response to intervention teens. To figure out what does this school and eat and figure out to students who need the most help in terms of academics. Behavior support. Attendance of pour. A lot of that sort of thing and the really helped build their capacity around. That academic intervention work. We're joined by Blair total development director of city year city year at this education nonprofit. Dedicated to really helping local students who are placed at risk for different reasons keep them on track so they can also graduate. Talking about the tip the year how they've shifted to education. And you've been able to you since you've made that shift and helping you focusing on young people. Quantify that you really save the state a lot of money can't I think did see it went through and it is fourteen known in fourteen million of the almost fifty million yeah yeah yeah yeah it's no joke it's really great work and it's. So like a lot of service hours and volunteerism all of that is really in adding up and and making a difference. Little bit more about how it's making a difference you don't have the name playing games but give us that the success stories of what's been happening. So. We talk a little bit about last year I mean if you look at numbers. Specifically for focus for kids that we focused. Exclusively on reading and math. We served about 800 it and send the kids. Between eating and percent of those children increase their academic performance. We've really helped build their a lot of the schools afterschool programming. And I think 6335. Program's total that we help with after school and that's about 350 kids. On every day is an idea of some of the schools you're working with our first line schools so yeah it's you unseen magic in charter. We dealings in his academy. Phyllis Wheatley community school. On Arthur Ashe charter school and Joseph asked Clark perpetrate and there are very good work. So it gain if you must also have a ripple effect with the teachers' value able to. Attract teachers and impact teachers. Yes and so that's definitely truthful it's impacting teachers it's helping build their capacity it's helping support than in the classroom so that they are able to. Focus on where they need to focus. 80% of the teachers that it worked with save it corps members helped build the capacity in the classroom and then also. Did these young volunteers at borer recruiting from across the country in a lot of cases. A lot of them skinny teen education after after the year service is done it's almost like Tom and internship you we put an end. Some of that most difficult schools to teach and they have none of them like a lot of challenges long and so they get kind of like to get a really great idea of what that looks like. And so we went through. Since we started working with first line we went through some numbers yesterday day it in the last. Five years for almost 40% of or members who have come through New Orleans steam teaching after they were done and infamy. You know what these core members coming front. I'll over. So some of them are local. On a lot from the northeast be a lot from the midwest begin a lot from California they really calm all over so our our recruitment efforts. Harm our national and why do they come what you think is of the reason for hybrid batteries Pontiac I think. I think become dizzy you know so a lot of cities and you've you've attacked your young and they know what you wanna do but I think it's like a lot of people really do you want a sour. A lot of cases when you think about serve and he could join the military could join the peace corps but there's not there was not a lot of opportunities. At first she served. Teen teen your country and in your community it's. I think that they just what I've noticed about the decision. Just idealistic they whine they want to help and I. They want to feel it the F first yen and the knowledge idealistic but they were willing to relentlessly. And do the work rate and you and me. Really see the kids that they work quest. And it really is profound and specials the work they're able to do. We're talking about the city year celebrating its tenth year of service in new Wally is about to embark on the second decade that is truly amazing. Blair trio joins us and she is the development director of city year so tell us about what's being planned. To mark this milestone. Oh goodness of our tenth year. Comments we are really at a queens where. This is our city it was first and schools. We've been doing great work and for what has been a tremendous partner at they've really status opt for success. And help to figure out what our program can look like in a very excellent way in schools. And we're really at the point where. We want to increase our impact in the city in Staten you know figuring out that looks like if that means bringing in more core members to serve and first lined. Moving out into different charter schools and that sort of thing. And so we're really this year working on building our capacity to do that. So. A lot of our ten year campaign is building up our board. We would like I had you know ten new board members. To our. To our ten and we already have. On and we have a red jacket society we currently have five members of the keeping circled one increased to ten so. You know obtaining ten years and and that sort of thing. We have I'm an annual gala schoolhouse rock and were really working to honor. That organizations and people. Who have gotten us this far and so it's really about during our capacity figuring out what we're doing next in the asking the community and funding support that we need. To do that successfully so again as well as having in a vet you just going to just build capacity in these in these areas and a oh that's amazing so tell me about Q work as a development director and how rewarding has it out if inferior written and so much of story telling right into the probably the best part is that you can. You know working in wind. The americorps members and hearing their stories. And really understanding the challenges that kids stay east. It's astounding in a lot of ways and probably one of the things that really. Got me the most when I first started in this work. One is on one of one of volunteers when they first started came into the office it was super upset and she had come from the northeast and and kind of from an affluent background and when she got to class the first day of class with some of the kindergartners. Iran they didn't know all that means. Like that they couldn't recognize the name written up like so they had put their pictures on the tasks. Because the they couldn't recognize it when it's written. And I kind of distant and we talked to them that in the scene of the sort of neglect and I think challenges that kids from those neighborhoods conference on. In and Snead and very real for van. And at first I was like that it can't that's my candy but it's play. I think what it's very real is that they have so many challenges and they need help and those of us who can help. And our responsibility and they have challenges Blair but it also speaks to me. That the important role that school plays and Hispanics why yes they expect this school to do a lot of things. Fairly an unfair and that is exactly right and that's were sitting here comes and in. And school is a lot of you know. For a lot of these kids it's where they feel safe it's where they have their structure is ready find their positive in in. He'll for good or for ill it's good schools are wonderful things and not just for learning it's. It's your emotional learning its its safety. Absolutely so how the people find out more volunteer our become. Part of his eagle forward with this kid your plan to really increase in double capacity. So we have website. City year dot pork. Connie can also called me directly at class five or four. Three easier to find your 63. We go we we are pounding the pavement this year and yes man wearing Google thank you for being with us and thank you very happy Martha believe it's been ten years and down. And now creating a T and more plus plus plus plus plus yes I am basically with the and. He would not rule New Orleans 9/11 memorial stair climb will be held in the morning of September 10. At 400 pledges tower right here in the building where we broadcast our show here to talk about the Arnold event is Jefferson firefighter Neil Navarro the event organizer thank you so much for being with us thank you. Melissa began Mott was this such an important. Wage to remember those firefighters who lost their lives in nine elevenths. You know fifteen years ago when in this tragedy happened we made F. Commitment to never forget somehow I think we still have. Put that in the back of our minds and have forgotten about that day. So we decided to do little something to bring this to New Orleans and to show that new loans has never forgotten and to make this a day to remembers well. He's he mentioned a Wally as you know from Jefferson Parish how widespread is this event. We're statewide so we have. First responders coming from Lafayette. To veto. As far as Lake Charles in the state to Baton Rouge. We also have participants coming in from Chicago Kansas city Arkansas Mississippi Florida. Just to name the ones I can think of off the top my head. Tell us about the Julia is -- a memorial stair climb how are you going to organize this on the day of the event on that morning on Saturday September 10. We gonna have the exact timeline of when the towers were hit. When the towers go down. So we would we wanna keep those those exact times. Kind of symbolic to our event you know when the first towers at the north tower. At the 846. As when we rule and to the building we have two of SDN wise bravest that'll be down here's our guests of honor. And you'll greed is in the building as we enter the building every one we'll have a Lang your. With a fallen firefighter. That they'll be climbing for the day so when they looked down you know that gives them extra motivation. You know when they feeling tired when I feel and like you know I got to quit. At least they're going home that day to their families you know these men and women that died on 9/11. Image ultimate sacrifice so. You know we just won her respect and honor those men. And women as best as we can. We're talking about the New Orleans memorial stair climb and it's remembering 9/11 those brave firefighters and responders. Who made the ultimate sacrifice we're joined five. Neil Navarro the event director. He's also a Jefferson Parish firefighters staged a live on the West Bank the best thanks to have a shot at his weapons and you'll also be wearing. Allison gear system really closely simulate what happened. Yes ma'am you know I gear Arab bunker gear for firefighters. And our air packs you look in that approximately 55 to. An extra sixty pounds that we will be wearing exactly what those men did a that day. Law enforcement officers that will be climbing they'll also be you know we'll have some guys in their swat tactical gear. Obviously EMS has that the easiest that just climbing in their daily. Being used in station where so. They would not be lugging all the gear that we will but they're they'll be here as they were on not eleven. The morning of rules set out of turn a town just says they do with the far has sort of police station. And you know are not eleven dispatcher told. Stone out of town. You know X and explain exactly what's what happens. You know we're start climbing it'll be. Far. Law enforcement and he amass. You know of all first responders. And how do you get professor of responds to participate in the have to register yes ma'am pinger our website new loans stair climb dot com. For more information for registration volunteering donating. And a little after party that we're gonna have. Great it's going to take place at 400 pointers tower flight recorders street and what about spectators and people who just really may not climbing course that want to see this and see how you all are remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to. We invite everyone to come out it is going to be very powerful and moving opening ceremony to say the least. New Orleans fire department pipes and drums of the out with a bag pipes. I lose it every time I hear those guys play amazing grace on new. I'm an idea basket case that morning anyway but. You know we've we're inviting everyone to come out to pay their respects to show their support. Especially works is going on with the you know first responders law enforcement. You know there's tragedy that in the floods in the Baton Rouge. So we just won a pair specs to everyone that that puts on a uniform and badge every day. Again to remind everybody that humanity is what binds us and connects us all yes man well. Again the nor against their client is not a race it's a tribute honoring the sacrifices of fallen heroes both near and far. It's remembering 9/11 the 343. Firefighters in seventy law enforcement officers and nine emergency medical technicians. Who actually climbed a 110. Floors to fulfill a promise. That I local people are saying never ever forget forget. How do you think meal we're forgetting what have we not doing is it because of the number of years I just because after awhile we just go along and. I think I think you're exactly right I think you know this year makes marks fifteen years and I just think you know the world has has moved on and you know that was a time when everyone came together she said you know we weren't worried about who's run for president who was doing this who's doing that. You know it was so everyone was helping everyone and so. You know we just want to bring that back. Two. You know I tried to do this couple years ago in Dallas. Dallas does huge stair climb out there but it sells out very quickly so you know that's me decide to turn. Bring this to new loans give rule in the wall and squarely on the wants twist. Only what new loans to bring to this through our history our culture and just think that will will be as big as any of these other stare clumsy cross country. Absolutely anyone she'd like to mention whose. Has helped support fuel to full assault to make this event happen obviously 400 towards our it's completely open their arms and open their doors. To us without them obviously you would not be. Having this event and the only shot out to you for taking this project on you want the oh very and director of coordinator and I know it's a big test to coordinate all that especially with so many people responding. And being appointed to so many cities as in many states as. It is definitely a full time job you know even a Monday's. At the far hosts you know it is nonstop on the phone. Days off it is so you know phone calls meetings. Trying to get to a lot of things coordinated but it is coming together you know this is probably. Twelve months compacted in turn three and a half months we're trying our best to make this a huge success for this year. And just see what happens then we'll move on and learn from our mistakes but. You know this is something that we're starting in its can be here's safe for a long time. What's the website address gained it is Newell and start con dot com. Wonder if O'Neal Navarro and then director of the New Orleans memorial climb and he's also a Jefferson Parish by a fighter thank you for being with us. Thank you so much. We're joined by Jo Honda Gilligan and she is the founder and executive director of grow dad. You farms and city park to a lot of thank you for being with us frustrates me and of course love the name grown his dad how did that come about. Then the name itself. So we had come up with this idea for a farm in the city to engage young people in the work of current food. And decided that since this is came via a farm four and about young adults we should have can choose the name. So we came up with several ideas I think paper's city farms is on of that and and now on this is about. Like four weeks to the data after these Super Bowl win the iconic Hoover or Lynn. So when we pitched these names to you high school class that my. And code director. Was was teaching at the time. Kurt that was the hands the hands down when we get. See that's what's going on bags and Lleyton you lol sat around talked some brains garment and said you know there is a need so what was missing in your opinion yeah well. It taught school in the city pre Katrina and one of the things that I realized in teasing its goal is that so many. Students that works with firm played in the fast food industry. And they also were. You know working to do well academically in school and wrestling with things outside of academics that there wasn't a lot of time or space to address or talk about. I think this is true for young people a crushing and case at this point like. They need to develop communication and problem solving skills camp 21 century skills. Has been left battle that our educational process. And I started seeing this connection between. The need for more skills and social emotional intelligence. The demands on young people who needed a job but confined to view high quality jobs. And the opportunity to create something that would add fresh attitude. And it and the local farms to the city. And use that as a platform to help and you'll develop skills that would lead to success. In school and also home and and future jobs that is fascinating what is the correlation give us an example of how you can use that's to solve real life issues yet. Great questions I think there's a couple of key. Elements of farming so we were at the diverse group of young adults from across the city both public and private schools than. Farming is. Pretty uniformly something and balanced. So it's a really great equalizer in terms of an activity. For young people coming from different backgrounds it's also something that is much. More enjoyable easier to doing groups and alone so it helps and you'll understand. There benefit. Of teamwork and how to approach a job with other people and do that well. And I think it also ties young people. But it brings them back into connection with work that is hands on work and that is also in. The outsize. We one of that the standards and tens of our work is insulate yourself until cell phones while they're working so I think. In a moment in time in which we are tall young adults and total extra destruction by technology. And facing several environmental crises it's really important for us to be developing environmentally intelligent. A sense of understanding of how nature works how we grow food how we get through even if it's happening we go on to do in our lives. I think it's a really important foundational concept for people you have experience not just understand conceptually. And from my experience. Growing full muffled due to focus. Very very keenly on what to do you. You really cannot be distract us definitely heading firing and I think for any of us who have plant at home we know that that it really keeps us honest there's there's no lie. I Iraq a liar didn't carry your head down then good foyer energized by Joseph hottest gilligan's founder and executive director of grow debt EU farms. So fast forward to today how do you engage not only your students but the people who see the vision and wanna be a part of it. We now have nine months of programming for young adults that Iran October through June and that's also on our firm's operational so we are just about to start another cycle of programming and growing food in the summer months we cover crop it's really important as a sustainable farms to address. Soil fertility continue to add to build our soil fertility so we used July August and September for that. And one of the things we're really proud of is that while we maintain our. Our initial flagship leadership program witching gauges forty to fifty young adults who are near to the program each year. We've also added additional. Advanced training for young adults you return into your part or full time roles. Toledo leadership program. So our follow as focused time developing skills that can contact knowledge for crew leaders. Who are full time with your position and assisting coup leaders are high school students returning to the organization. In tier leadership roles and then those young adults come February. Are ready to lead the new cohort of young people through a five month program. And John I'll argue involved with the community within the community you to be to supported engage in benefit from what you're doing. We have really been looking over the last couple years how do we bring more people onto the farm first for a long time we're really just developing this court leadership development model. And now have over 200 and alumni of our program many of you and her recharge rest and say. We really want to get re connected to the work you know I'm in school but I would really like to do more this. So we've launched a series. Ways for the public to connect to our work. May have wishing Gator alumni in new leadership leadership roles within your organization so. Some of these things Ehrlich we just started a key theory future program. So if you're a teacher in your looking for something her students to do. That involves other young adults leading man in lessen them out farming and food and science. That's a great way to connect to the organization. We have farm tour is that anyone can come to we have for groups and seemed for individuals. We have classes that we've started to tear roll out says some of those are top by guest educators like. The video of the series this spring where you can deal on the farm. All these things help us to generate revenue for the organization and create new jobs for alumni and and educational fun experience for the general public. We also hurt during a really elegant and fun formed in her Syrians. We had our first one with links juju ski foundation in May it was a fantastic time as it just never thought. And will roll out another sport this fall with several restaurant groups including knowing she ski foundation again and to hot hot as the fall series war. So you can go to our website and we just we just rolled out the ticket sales. Use sign up we have four dinners the first of which is Saturday October 08. It's a beautiful dinner on the farm includes. Cartels and aren't serves. Sunset tour of the farm and then as he did course to dinner with wine. It's really a magical experience because it really brings that can do reality of dining together backs are sitting in a long table. Some keep Lehman knows I'm deeply humane and really enjoying food prepared for some of the city's best shots. That's source to. Much of it directly from the department to let the farm to table concept that we hear so much about exactly and it's fun because not only eating pretty sits directly her stated that day from the farmers are eating it up the farm. So it's a really again and and cannot school setting for four a lovely meal. Tickets are on sale we sold out pretty quickly last spring so it encourage people to check it out on the web say it's a 120. I'm dollars. Kuroda firm dot or things of being with 30% of your hating mean. And that is our show court today thank you so much for joining us I'm in your host Monica appear until next time enjoy this Sunday and the rest of New Orleans.