Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Community Efforts

I am an employee of CITGO Petroleum. They have a program called "Fueling Good". In the program employees have the chance to nominate co-workers for their community work. Being that I started a community garden a number of my co-workers have chosen to nominate me. I recieved an email today stating they need an explanation from me so I can be considered if I should be a finalist for the competition. What I have posted below, is what I submitted to them. What do you think? Do you think I deserve a reward for my work in the community?

My Community Efforts
My community efforts began long before I became an employee of CITGO. I was always active in the community being that my grandmother was a powerful player in city politics in Dallas, TX, and in Houston, TX a city council representative was a close family friend. By the age of 20 I participated in two city political campaigns and numerous community activities. My adult years have not been much different. I sometimes tell friends I was raised in community activism.

In 2006, while I was an accounting student at Prairie View A&M University, two friends and I founded a nonprofit organization called Divine Leaders Incorporated. I am still Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Operating Officer of Divine Leaders Incorporated. During mid 2009 we decided to go into a partnership with a local church that owned 2.5 acres of land that was being unused. Due to the fact that the neighborhood I was raised in and still live in now, is in the middle of what is known as a “food desert”, we made the decision to start the Marcus Garvey Liberation Garden and Food Coop Program (MGLG).

The MGLG officially began Feb. 28, 2010 when we held a Groundbreaking ceremony in the garden. The MGLG is completely organic and we use three different gardening methods to demonstrate to participants the many ways they can convert their lawns to gardens. No food grown in MGLG is sold. All food is donated to the volunteers and households living below the poverty line in our community. Since the beginning of the MGLG we have given away over 100 lbs of organic produce.

The MGLG has quickly evolved from a simple community garden into a family friendly venue of entertainment. This happened when we hosted our First Annual Greater Houston Urban Garden Festival on August 21, 2010. You can view pictures of our festival here: http://bit.ly/bchPfY. In these hard economic times, our garden hosted almost 20 small businesses to sale their goods directly to patrons at our festival. The festival was also an opportunity for local independent artist to showcase their talents as well.

As you can see, my community endeavors has created a plethora of good opportunities for individuals living in the lower economic neighborhoods of Houston, TX. If you would like to view pictures of our Groundbreaking Ceremony, you could do so here: http://bit.ly/bdEjEz. Finally, to see all the wonderful food that we have given out since the beginning of the MGLG, just scroll down.

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