when volunteers change the face of a neighborhood

feature Project | columbia university | 
j-school 98'

why this story | picture

In 1997 – 1998, I spent a fascinating time learning journalism, media and story telling. During that time, I investigated the story of Pedro Cruz, a volunteer in the South Bronx who had turned from a life of misdeeds to help children succeed in his neighborhood.

Pedro’s story and the environment in which I could recount and write it have since defined the world of possibilities for positive change for me.

For he showed that everything and everyone could change – and use their work to impact their immediate environment for the better.

Pedro’s story also emphasized the power of giving back and of community, a concept that Americans have mastered.

Finally, it was an opportunity to express my gratitude for the support of my fellow students and professors, including CNN and ABC, Derwin Johnson and Dean Melanie Huff without whom this work would have never been completed. 

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