National Make A Difference Day is held every year as a nation-wide initiative to bring volunteers and communities together to improve the lives of others. This year NMADD was held October 28, 2017. As Promise Corps CCAs, we spend our days working with 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students to ensure they are taking the proper steps to achieve their post-secondary career opportunities. We serve and work to make a difference in the lives of these students.

On this day, we wanted to engage our students and allow them to be involved in their surrounding community. The Overbrook and Sayre teams joined forces and participated in a litter and leaf cleanup in the South Philadelphia area. Along with other volunteers, we spent the day picking up trash, pulling out weeds, and shoveling leaves. After we finished, a lunch that consisted of grilled cheese, cookies, salad, and water was served! It was a great day to come together with people I work with, as well as other volunteers.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Far and away the best prize life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” As a Promise Corps CCA, I’ve had the opportunity to work with an incredible group of people to make strides towards improving the lives of students in the West Philadelphia area as well as encourage them to create a positive change in the community they live in. Litter and Leaf cleanup was a good reminder that age, gender, race, and economic status do not define how much or how little you can do to help the people around you. All it takes is ONE DAY to make a difference.

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“ I love looking at a project and taking a snapshot in my head and then looking again at the end condition. It’s awesome to see the transformation a couple of people can make. I always imagine what it would be like if everyone would pitch in just a little bit… our communities could thrive.” -Haley Snyder

“A community cleanup may seem a surface level endeavor. In reality it is much deeper than that. As I disposed of old trash or pulled persistent weeds, I reflected and felt myself changing with the earth that was changing too. Each piece of trash removed represented a fresh start from an old mistake, and every weed pulled was a chance for life to start anew.” –Fred Cacace Jr.

“The best grilled cheese I ever worked for!”-Destiny Gadson

-Yaczin Hernandez, College and Career Ambassador at Overbrook High School

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