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Urban Poverty in Atlanta: Alternative Break

Organized by: Janelle Cannon

Janelle's Photo
Janelle's Photo

THE STORY:

 

As some of you may know, I am leading a trip to Atlanta, GA during the second week of January (2017). Through Roanoke College Alternative Break, my co-leader and I will be able to bring 10-12 students with us to work alongside Medici Project. Medici is connected with schools, food banks, homeless shelters, and other organizations.

For example, Medici works with the following areas:

  • Homelessness
  • Human Trafficking
  • Refugees
  • Education
  • Health
  • Community Development
  • Food & Nutrition

Through serving with local people and learning about inner city poverty, we will be able to develop our leadership skills, gain experience in a variety of issues, make connections with people and organizations in the Atlanta area, and discover potential career or research interests. The focus of the trip is to reveal passions and discover how we have the power and opportunities to make an impact, and most importantly, to inspire us to "Do Something". As college students transitioning into adulthood, the experiences we will have down in Atlanta and here at Roanoke play a special role in not only our futures, but the future of this country and potentially the world. Our generation has the power to make real, positive, and sustainable differences on local and global levels as we journey through the 21st century and beyond. I hope you will be able to see the value in this opportunity; we are very excited to start the program!

Unfortunately, to travel down to Atlanta, provide meals, and work with Medici Project, this will cost between $3,500 and $4,000 depending on the final expenses for gas, food, materials, and other last minute expenses necessary for a successful week. This will be split up between the students, but it remains expensive. Our goal is to cover extra costs (gas, food, etc.) and lessen the financial burden of students for the program costs (Medici Project fees including housing, curriculum, service, etc.). As an investment in our future and our individual growth of character and leadership, we are asking for your help! For anyone that is able to contribute, we are incredibly grateful! All of us truly appreciate your help and belief in our cause. I completely understand that not everyone can afford to help us at this time and that is okay! Share this with your friends, family, and anyone else who may be interested. Spreading the word is just as meaningful to us as we can use all the help we can get! On behalf of our group of students, Roanoke College, Medici Project, and the communities we will be working with in Atlanta, Thank You!! I believe this is going to be an extremely powerful experience and we are honored to have your support. If you would like to learn more, feel free to contact me! I have also included a bit more information below if you are interested.

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Urban poverty in Atlanta is a complex and serious issue. Citizens are struggling to access basic forms of education, housing, food, and jobs throughout the city. Social and economic systems do not support the success and advancement of those in poverty well enough. According to the Atlanta Community Food Bank website, "1 in 7.5 people, or an estimated 755,400 people, in metro Atlanta and north Georgia turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families each year. This includes more than 164,000 children and more than 64,000 seniors." This is only ONE aspect of urban poverty. We need systematic changes and strategies to develop communities and help people progress to have the opportunities to work, take care of their families, receive an education, and achieve their goals.

"Passion can only take us so far. Let us match it with strategy." - Medici Project Resources:

www.mediciproject.org

www.acfb.org

www.roanoke.edu

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Janelle Cannon

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