Project Stewardship provides enriched learning experiences for young adults of all ages and serves as a bridge to understanding self, others and the natural world. Our program offers a variety of channels for young people to get involved in becoming effective participants in their own learning, livelihoods and successes.
Our program participants meet twice monthly for a workshop and an outing in addition to embarking on volunteer and/or internship placements with The Children’s Sangha and our community partners. We afford young adults the opportunity to develop confidence and social awareness, communication and leadership capabilities, problem solving and coping skills, and varying levels of ability in areas of interest and community need. Increasing personal well-being and environmental stewardship occurs while making new friends with peers and mentors. Participants are able to explore an array of different LIFE opportunities that relate to leisure pursuits, creativity outlets, and academics towards college majors and/or career. Project Stewardship ultimately serve as a pathway for participants to “find and follow their bliss”!
Monthly workshops are selected based on the current interests of participants and to provide exposure to specific topics to cultivate new interests and/or establish a sense of well-being. We offer opportunities for fun social engagement with peers while building various skills and deepening one’s knowledge base. Some examples from previous years include:
- Night of Astronomy with state-of-the-art telescopes guided by Amateur Observers Society of NY, Inc.
- Culinary Arts with Chef Deborah Barocas (see her Gyanese cook book: Guyana’s Tasty Exotic)
- The ancient art of Feng Shui to balance positive energy with Maureen Calamia of Luminous Spaces Feng Shui
- Mindfulness for Stress Reduction with Debbie DeBetta of Mind Body Education
- Smoothies to boost immune & digestive system with Lorna Sophocleous, Holistic Wellness Consultant
- Media & Theatre Arts sessions with SUNY College at Old Westbury’s Gifted Souls Theatre Arts Program
- “Video-Civics” including workshop activities for Mother Nature’s Child, The Happy Movie and others
- Live mammal workshop including artifacts and fun facts with Eric Powers of Your Connection to Nature
Monthly outings are enjoyable and educational. Young people have the chance to network with different organizations, establish relationships and expand skills based on experiences undertaken while socializing with peers in new environments. Some outings we have taken:
- As a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) member, brought participants on farm tour of Restoration Farm
- Boat ride and environmental beach cleanup activities in the South Shore Bays with Operation Splash
- Local history outing to the Wantagh Railroad Museum managed by the Wantagh Preservation Society
- Exhibit: Ansel Adams and A Century of Photography and nature walk at the Nassau County Museum of Art
- Rangoli Art Workshop for Diwali (Indian festival of lights) sponsored by Long Island Traditions
- Creation of radio program about Project Stewardship with SUNY Old Westbury Web Radio – OWWR and involvement with a video production class and SUNY Old Westbury Television Station – OWTV in addition to radio station and TV studio tours
- Bike riding outing from playground through Marina and along shoreline of Wantagh Park
- Museum activities related to Long Island geology, Native American archaeology and natural history followed by nature walk at Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
Volunteer or internship placements help young adults develop various levels and types of abilities in areas of interest and community need, becoming more well-rounded individuals in the process. Through Project Stewardship, The Children’s Sangha can arrange a rotation in related or different fields, exposure to various work environments and involvement in diverse projects, trainings, events, and tasks. Participation in our Student Leadership Training serves as a trademark that distinguishes Project Stewardship volunteers and interns from others in accord with our Different Abilities Development Model where we strive to bring different abilities to life! We are grateful to the many regular community partners we work with who invest in our youth…
Special thanks to one of our main community partners, The Garden at St. Francis whose indoor hall and outdoor garden space we utilize and with whom we do a group volunteer days during the month of July as well as the annual Change the World Day in May. Volunteer time at the garden has included construction projects to build a compost bin, raised beds in addition to other hands-on activities and garden tasks with members of the community.
The Children’s Sangha collaborates with various department at SUNY College at Old Westbury such as First Year Experience, Honors College, Psychology, Education, and Media & Communication for workshops, outings, and special events. In addition, college students from SUNY Old Westbury come on board as interns and volunteers, working with us in a variety of capacities (i.e., peer mentors, group leaders, teachers and research assistants, database managers, photographers, and more).
If you would like to contribute towards a Project Stewardship scholarship, see our Donate page! Feel free to donate a full or partial scholarship or more than one. You will be changing the life of a young person through your generosity!
Learn about our NEW 24-Week Civic Mentoring Initiative (spring/fall)! This initiative is an extension of Project Stewardship where participants in our program and others work one on one with peer mentors to build specific skills through targeted experiences. Participants may then generalize skills and demonstrate what they have learned as part of our Project Stewardship group.