Linel Salcedo, NYC Civic Corps Member
As a native New Yorker, I love this city and all that it has to offer. I have been very fortunate and therefore feel a strong urge to give back - especially to my native borough, the Bronx. NYC Civic Corps has given me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of everyday individuals that live only ten minutes from my doorstep.
As a Civic Corps member I wish to change the negative perceptions and apathy that many people have towards volunteering in the Bronx. I am deeply committed to making my community a place where anyone can volunteer. At fourteen, I began volunteering with social workers helping at risk mothers. At the Thorpe Family Residence, women with nowhere to go would stop temporarily in their journey to improve the lives of their children and themselves. I worked with both children and social workers as they came face to face with domestic violence. It was here in the service of others that I found what I am truly passionate for: volunteering.
Now I serve at Mosholu Preservation Corporation (MPC), a not-for-profit corporation created by Montefiore Medical Center in 1981 to target and fight the housing decay and abandonment that had ravaged the Bronx. MPC’s goal is to preserve and revitalize the neighborhood of Norwood. As a volunteer coordinator for MPC in the areas of health, wellness and recreation, I am tasked with recruiting community members to volunteer in their local Bronx parks. This includes becoming more interested in their health by biking, walking, and creating spaces where they can be physically active. I work with volunteer groups ranging from five to one-hundred working to plant daffodil bulbs/trees, mulching, raking leaves, and erosion control. This creates park space that is clean, friendly and more approachable. Additionally, since much of the Bronx is made up of hills, erosion control is a constant project. Much of the work that is done with volunteers is in the maintenance and preservation of the hillsides and turf throughout the parks.
Volunteering keeps me balanced and allows me to do what I love, which is helping others. Serving others has become a way of life for me. Through volunteering I am able to gain new skills, such as gardening and learning to plant trees and daffodil bulbs. While volunteering I have also improved my oral communication and interpersonal skills. Therefore, Civic Corps has allowed me to join two of my passions: helping others and strengthening the Bronx.