ABC Atlanta

I applied to attend the ABCs because I was interested in the theme for the week, asset based community development (ABCD). When I read the description of ABCD, it reminded me Café Reconcile, a great restaurant and organization in New Orleans (check it out! I had visited Café Reconcile my junior year of high school during a service trip, and its economic model has been imprinted in my mind. I did not know how to transfer that idea to ASB, however, and that is why I wanted to attend the conference.

My week in Atlanta helped to clarify that ASB trips can participate in asset based community development by finding community partners that focus on this. For example, during the week we volunteered at Healthy Belvedere, Atwood Community Gardens, and Park Pride by doing landscaping work. All of these organizations used Atlanta’s assets (weather, empty lots, neighborhood pride etc.) to address the obesity epidemic in Atlanta.

The week was about more than just ABCD though. Half of the days were spent in workshops about all the different aspects of an ASB trip or at speaker panels with local community leaders. Ideas were exchanged between all of the different programs. It was great to hear about the different methods used by other programs and to meet other students involved in their respective programs. Although the week was exhausting, I left Atlanta feeling renewed and full of energy for the coming school year and more ASB experiences!

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