I came to SCG as a Leadership Intern at the Center for Public and Community Service (CPCS). I was placed on the Steering Committee and as a student representative had the opportunity to help and see SCG grow from the beginning. I quickly spent most of my time working with SCG, learning GIS, and working on a variety of projects, most notably mapping Youth Resources in Onondaga County by surveying and mapping the routes students take to school. In the Safe Routes to School project, I worked with Jonnell to design a survey tool to then collect and map the data. The SCG projects showed me the power of collecting data from the community and then using it to drive important decisions among stakeholders.
I am currently a founding member and Assistant Principal of a high school in New York City. As a school leader and as a teacher, I frequently draw on my experience from SCG in collecting useful data and then using it to make decisions, both in the classroom and in our school community. For example, we are currently using spatial data to study the distribution of students who are frequently late and absent. We are using this information to craft an effective attendance strategy to make sure all of our students come to school on time daily. As a high school focused on Emergency Management, we are working to design a GIS course for our students. Currently, students are interacting with user end GIS by accessing public mapping software provided by the City of New York (NYCityMap and NYC Oasis Map). They are using these two applications to develop community profiles of their neighborhood and eventually a risk assessment that mirrors the NYC Hazard Mitigation Plan. Our students will ultimately learn how to collect this type of data and map it on their own. SCG was an invaluable experience at the intersection of advocacy and academia that I now use to impact my school and community.