Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Steel Yard

You guys are well aware that I took a blogging/working hiatus and spent all last week in Providence, Rhode Island. Now I want to tell you all about the exciting things I was doing, learning, and experiencing there. I spent the week as a faculty advisor to a group of amazing college students from Ohio State through Buck-I-Serv, a program where students give up their Winter, Spring, and Summer breaks from school and spend a week doing service. It's an amazing program, and because the students who want to participate are giving up a chance to spend a week at the beach working on their tans, you are really left with the best students with the biggest hearts, who really take service seriously.

We spent our week volunteering at The Steel Yard, a non-profit organization based in an old Steel Mill in Providence that now offers courses in welding, metalworking, jewelry making, ceramics, and lots of other disciplines. They also work with local kids, teaching them skills they never would have had the opportunity to learn otherwise, giving them a sense of confidence and pride. And believe me, since we had the chance to learn skills like welding, cutting steel with an oxy-acetelaine blowtorch, using a hacksaw and circular bandsaw to cut steel, building shelving, glazing ceramic paver tiles, and even replacing and glazing window panes in the studio space, we left with an incredible sense of confidence as well. It was a great week and I met a lot of incredible people both on staff at The Steel Yard and in our group. And helping out this organization was well worth the minor back ache of sleeping for 7 days on the floor in a sleeping bag...

Photography by Holly Choi


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