Last night I did something I never thought I'd ever have the opportunity to do. The Port Richmond Partnership received the Partnership Award from the The New York City Department of Small Business Services. That sounds like a lot of words that don't mean that much. Allow me to explain...
I'm sure you're familiar with Port Richmond as a community after reading my other blog posts, but the Port Richmond Partnership hasn't been mentioned much. The Port Richmond Partnership (PRP) is essentially just the network of community partners that Wagner connects with to help address the needs of the Port Richmond community. (Our Wagner Newsroom explains it in more detail.) Therefore, part of my job on campus this summer is working for the PRP. It sounds confusing, but it's pretty simple. You'll learn a lot more about it in this upcoming school year!
So a few weeks ago, my friend and current Wagner senior Kevin Ferreira invited me to be his guest at an event where the Port Richmond Partnership was being recognized. The event was held at the Gracie Mansion. That's right.. the mansion that was built for the mayor of NYC to live in. Needless to say, I was extremely nervous. I went out and bought a new dress, got my nails done, and Googled "important people in NYC" and "the Gracie Mansion" to prepare myself for the event. I felt like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. Remember the scene where Meryl Streep hands Anne Hathaway a huge binder of important people and tells her to memorize important things about their lives before they go to a big party? I was waiting for someone to hand me that huge binder. Thankfully, I never got that huge binder.
As soon as I arrived, I knew I had worried for nothing. Even though there was a beautiful view of the East River and really important people from NYC that I probably didn't recognize or know at all, I didn't need to be nervous. I was there to help recognize the amazing Partnership that Wagner students and the Port Richmond community have joined together to create. Other members of the Wagner community were also invited. And even though President Guarsci, Provost McNair and Dean Tooker were there, their presence did make me feel less nervous. As a member of the Port Richmond Student Advisory Board (PRSAB), I've been able to connect with these members of the Wagner community along with several others. The relationships I've built with them are valuable beyond words. But I have also found that the relationships I've built within the Port Richmond community, with people who aren't doctors or deans, are just as valuable. I've learned so much as a member of PRSAB and as an active student in Port Richmond. It was wonderful to be a part of the celebration of this partnership. Receiving the Partnership Award is such a huge honor that extends beyond the professors and deans at Wagner to the students who spend hours volunteering in Port Richmond during the school year. I feel so lucky to have been able to attend this event. I felt like such a grown up! Honestly, though, I feel even more lucky to be able to spend time in the Port Richmond community during my time here at Wagner.