As a recent addition to the New York City Housing Authority team, I am grateful to work within the Community Engagement and Partnerships (CEP) Division. Under NextGeneration NYCHA, we are all working hard to make sure that residents and the developments are safe, clean and connected. And I was pleasantly surprised to see my previous work within the community perfectly align with my new role as Senior Advisor within CEP.
I was honored to accept the Harvest Heroes 2016 Award from BedStuy Campaign Against Hunger (BSCAH) for my prior work to connect residents to their communities and also to connect community- based organizations to residents and local leaders. This collaborative effort is a true example of the mission of CEP to “engage and connect NYCHA residents to critical programs, services, and the priorities within NextGeneration NYCHA.” Our department supports NYCHA’s extensive network of resident associations and also manages partnerships, programs and initiatives in the areas of economic opportunity and services for youth and seniors.
BSCAH has been working with our resident associations to provide healthy foods through their onsite mobile food pantry and also to provide opportunities for young residents to grow their own food within BSCAH’s community gardens. In my previous position, I had the opportunity to help BSCAH raise funds to expand their services and build a state-ofthe- art commercial kitchen that is available for use by local chefs. I immediately saw this as an opportunity for NYCHA’s recent Food Business Pathways graduates. As we work with residents through our Resident Engagement and Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability Departments, BSCAH is yet another positive partnership we are developing.
Being able to engage with residents through outreach and information sharing, and connect them with partners that will help advance them and their community, is rewarding within itself. Receiving the Harvest Heroes Award was a great personal honor, but I am not the exception, just the example of so many great staffers and NYCHA alumni.
Ms. Ampry-Samuel was born and raised in Marcus Garvey Houses.