Our UWYV GHS Champion/Changemaker Thuy Bui has been volunteering at the Gardner Public Schools Meals Program during this time of social distancing. It is Gardner schoolteachers, like Thuy, that have been filling many of the volunteer spots. Thuy misses her students, and this is one way that she can see her students and fulfill a real community need.
Before the school shutdown, Thuy was involved in the cultivation of UWYV Team Gardner Grow’s community garden. This team had a successful garden last summer. You can read more about it in this blog post that I had written last fall.
In last week’s blog post, I talked about how Samoset Middle School UWYV students on Team Save Earth Today would like to implement composting at Samoset.
As it turns out, the UWYV Gardner Grows Team has two small compost piles that they started before the shutdown of schools. The students filled these piles with food scraps that they brought in from home, or with scraps from items grown in the community garden. According to Thuy, the students want to create a compost bin where they can take food scraps from the school cafeteria and use it for their garden. They would also like to donate excess scraps to a local farm.
Connecting GHS and Samoset UWYV Teams
Do you see where I am going with this? It would be cool to connect these teams! Even if the high school students on the Gardner team simply made a short video on composting, and then shared it with the Samoset team, they would hopefully be inspired to implement composting at Samoset.
Unfortunately, the plans for the garden and composting are on hold now, but hopefully not for long!
Spotlight on Gardner High School’s UWYV Champion Thuy Bui
Now, on with my latest Spotlight on a Champion. Like all our Champions, Thuy is busy at home, and in the spirit of a true Changemaker, makes the time to volunteer as well.
How long have you been a Champion for UWYV? And what do you like best about having this role?
I have been a Champion for UWYV since I started at GHS which was in 2015. I love my interactions with students and encouraging them to explore what they can achieve when they put their minds to it.
How are you doing? What does a typical day-at-home look like for you?
I am doing okay. It’s a bit of a struggle sometimes, but then I hear from my students and it becomes a bit easier to deal with. A typical day-at-home is trying to plan lessons for my students, that would get them as engaged as possible. I am also helping my Mom care for my nieces and nephews, or I am cooking with her. It is a weird balancing act right now.
How has the stay-at-home/social distancing of COVID-19 affected you positively?
I feel like I can spend a bit more time with families, now that I am home most of the time.
Do you have a positive Changemaking story that has resulted from this?
I have been handing out food to the Gardner food program and it definitely makes me feel more connected with my students. I deliver food once a week on Mondays, and it is always nice to see the students and their families.
Are you able to connect with your students remotely? (Zoom? Google Classroom, or email?) How are they?
I use Zoom and Google Classroom to connect with my students. Unfortunately, a good percentage of my students don’t always make the Zoom meetings. The ones that I do see seem to be doing well, and it’s always nice to chat and catch up with them. It’s a bonus, when they say they miss school!
Are you in touch with any UWYV teams? If so, what are they up to?
I’ve been in touch with a few of the teams. They seem to be doing well and are trying to keep up with schoolwork.
If UWYV (Youth Venture) was offered to you as a young student, what would your cause be and why?
I think my cause would be to try and improve the literacy rates and love of reading for students and families. I know growing up, I didn’t always love reading or have family members read to me (language barrier and all). Therefore, I would have loved to find a way to bring reading to families that might have been in the same situation as I was.
What was one of your most memorable experiences (so far!) being Champion?
Going to the Spring Showcase – definitely! It amazes me, the amount of passions and hard work these students are showing! It has inspired me to be better.
What message would you like to send all your students?
I’ve always loved the saying, “Impossible has the word possible in it.” I can’t remember where I heard it from, but I want them to know that if they want something, then with a little bit of hard work, it is possible!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share our youth’s passions and to try and better our surroundings one venture project at a time!
Thank you for taking the time to fill us in Thuy! We will see you back in the classroom and the garden soon!
Other Champion Spotlights
Sharyn Tomasso – Sky View Middle School
Sara Carnabucci – McKay Arts Academy
Francine Meigs – Samoset Middle School
All of us at UWYV want to stay in touch with our students and champions. For the latest news from Youth Venture, please follow us and feel free to reach out via email, text or social media.