Organizing by Neighborhood

in Trinity College

The organizing by Neighborhood class was a great experience for me because we have not only learned about basic organizing principles but also got to practice and observe things at our internship place and evaluate them.

As part of this class I worked at Billings Forge Community Work`s after school program 3 or 4 days a week, where I helped the children with their homework, and just generally supervised and participated in the afternoon activities e.g.: drumming on Tuesdays, art (drawing, painting, crafts)on Wednesdays, sports on Thursdays and cooking on Fridays. It was not my dream internship as I have already worked with children before, I was more inclined to learn about the organizational background of the big NGO, but I had to lower my ambitions. There is still a lot that I need to learn about working with children. They challenged me in many ways, but I am happy to say that I now consider myself to be able to work with children in an other language (than Hungarian) too.








This class also opened my eyes up to several other issues that I have not though about in such great depth before, e.g.: the issue of lack of affordable housing and homelessness, and the environmental factors that influence the mental health of individuals and communities. As  youth worker I am interested in good examples for organization and success stories/ biographies of organizers.

Here is one of the reflection papers I wrote: Saul Alinsky Rules for radicals

The official description of the class:

“Have you ever wondered why some neighborhoods thrive and others appear to fail? Are you mystified about what can be done to stem deterioration and provide decent, affordable housing and clean and safe neighborhoods? One way to explore answers to these questions is to intern with a community-based organization dedicated to working with a community as it defines and responds to its problems. In this seminar each student will do a community learning project/ internship at such an organization in Hartford. Equally important is a way to understand and interpret your experiences at the organization. The rich theoretical literature that you will read in this seminar on how neighborhoods are organized and function and on models of community responses to neighborhood conditions provides a lens through which to evaluate your experiences with your organization and community.”