Public Purpose EE Ford Foundation Community Symposium
Tuesday, OCTOBER 2, 2018
RCDS Memorial Hall
This summer, Edward E. Ford Foundation Community Engagement Fellowship Program continued its third year, awarding summer fellowships to high school students, enabling them to develop and implement innovative, sustainable projects that address community needs. Fellows collaborate with community partner organizations and an RCDS faculty mentor on all phases of the project. The goal of the program is to offer meaningful summer service opportunities for students and to foster ongoing partnerships between RCDS and local community organizations.
The 2018 cohort fellows included 12 Upper School students working in partnership with 10 community organizations across Westchester and Fairfield counties, including Fresh Youth Initiatives, Backyard Sports, The Nathaniel Witherell*, Carver Center*, The Cottage School (Pleasantville, NY), Boys and Girls Club*, Port Chester WestCOP, Save the Sound, Building One Community*, and Our New Way Garden.
Each of the fellows either developed an original program or project that would not have existed without their efforts or continued or expanded a program from a previous fellow. Examples included developing innovative math enrichment programs for underprivileged youth using music and real-life applications; Installing and introducing a gaga pit program; Improving the infrastructure of a community garden; Instructing residents at a senior center how to use technology; Creating a middle school summer coding program; Improved communication between administrators and volunteers by developing a new online portal; Collecting and analyzing water samples from the Long Island Sound; and developing performing arts programs at local summer camps. Over the course of their projects, the students gained compassion and leadership skills while deepening their connections to their communities.
*organizations that have benefited from E.E. Ford Foundation Community Engagement Fellowship program in 2017/2016.