A little more than halfway through my year here and I am…exhausted. In a good way! I am working hard, encountering new people, going to meetings all across town, and thoroughly enjoying the ride. Poughkeepsie really is beautiful in so many ways. From the outstanding-ly old and beautiful historical buildings, to the riverfront, to the crazy amount of available authentic Mexican food and so much more.
This place has been my home for going on five years – but it was not really until this year that I felt like I was AT home. I now rent an apartment (with a roommate), have my own credit card, use Tupperware, keep my car clean, am a slave to the coin operated laundry system – am I an adult? Anyway, I am by no means a local, but I’d like to think I’m getting the hang of things. I feel really fortunate to be around Poughkeepsie while it’s at this great big precipice of change and action. There is an extraordinary amount of #Poughtential here and we finally have a City Government that is willing to do something with it! There is definitely a *BUZZ* in the air as our new Mayor Rob Rolison says. There has been a new vivacity spreading throughout the city and I believe that a great deal of it is due to the new administration that is taking over our local government. People are no longer groaning about an ineffective Mayor; people are excited to talk about strategies of redevelopment and revitalization, and most importantly, people are seeing how they themselves can make a difference.
The Community Leadership Program (running now for the third year in a row) is proof that individuals who live, work, and play here in the Queen City are invested and taking a stake in the neighborhood. We have a dedicated group of people who want to make an impact and are actively looking for ways to become better leaders! What could be more inspiring than that?? We discuss new ideas to improve and add youth services, green spaces, and local businesses among other topics. We are creating a Community Leaders Network that will provide the city with strong community leaders who are willing to work for a better Poughkeepsie.
Thankfully the winter that never was has passed us and we are moving into sunny warm Spring! I recently graduated college last May - so I will not be returning to my childhood home on Long Island like I did every summer previously, instead I will stay here in the Queen City as my VISTA term does not expire until August. This will be my first real Spring/Summer in Poughkeepsie and I couldn't be more excited!
The more time that I spend out and about, the more inspired I am to stay in this magnificent city!
And with that,
*drum roll please*
I am happy to announce that I will be re-enlisting through AmeriCorps VISTA for another year at Hudson River Housing working on the Middle Main Initiative starting at the end of August! So, if I haven’t met you yet, don’t worry – I’ll be around for another year! I love Poughkeepsie!