Clay’s Green Corner

Greetings planet paramours! The Corner’s getting excited so my tail is a waggin’, because one week from today is our second annual Shred Fest. If you’ve been paying attention to the Green Dandelion (and I know that you are because I have spies. No, wait. I have insight. Yes, insight), then you have been busy gathering up those personal documents to bring to us ( our smiling faces and friendly service may be caffenine induced, but just at 7:30AM), and shred those suckers to recycled heaven where products may be produced that rely on paper. Win-win-win kidz. So if you are like me and will wait until the last minute to ask Mr. Green Corner (yes, there is one. And yes, you may pity him) to gather up all those documents, bills, personal papers for destruction, time IS running out. Here’s our fearless leader’s (the most awesome Amy Kadrie and her minions), blog earlier this week on Shred Fest. It has all the info you’ll need: http://blogs.rochester.edu/thegreendandelion/2012/06/shred-fest-2012-drop-off-your-paper-documents-to-be-securely-shredded-and-recycled/

The Green Corner, like our other blogs throughout the week at The Green Dandelion, discuss recycling, sustainability and doing our best to change a lot of habits we’ve inherited (and some we made all our own) to make this, our ONLY home a better place. We try to right many wrongs, develop good, strong earth-friendly habits and the University of Rochester is 100% committed to our mission because it is the UR mission also. We appreciate the support of UR and our community. Sometimes, and we’re only human we get a bit discouraged at this sometimes endless battle to save our Blue Marble. And I would be lying to you, dear reader if I said I never had a moment of doubt and frustration that our issues are not being addressed seriously by world and US government officials. And whenever I feel like that, something totally unexpected and wonderful happens that restores my confidence and I know the mistakes my and past generations have made are being fought by younger generations with terrific ideas, energy, commitment and dedication.

Earlier this week I was asked to be a “client” for the University of Rochester’s Medical Center’s (URMC) Center for Community Health/ Teen Health and Success Partnerships “Youth Creative Leadership Conference”. This terrific program has about 30-35 of the best and brightest city of Rochester school students admitted into the program where the students are introduced to work life, school life, self-discipline and utilizing their power and brains to make not only Western NY, but the entire world a better place. The Hillside Scholarship program is very competitive since our resources are limited, so only a handful are chosen each year. This program is so successful that the HS graduation rate among the students is 100%. Yes, she wrote 100%. Many of the students choose to continue to college, while others have jobs (yeah, real jobs) waiting for them. I was truly honored to attend this week’s function not only as a UR Facilities and Services member, but also being a member of the human race.

The students were presented with a challenge from the clients. Their mission was to make recommendations/solve the client’s challenge by using creative thinking and problem solving. The old ways don’t work as well for many of the barriers we seek to overcome, so the ability to tap into our creative side is incredibly important. And any adult will tell you, the older we get the less creative and fun we become because we have buried those wonderful creative ways of dealing with the world as we grew older. Well, we are ALL still creative and I can spend hours with you discussing ways we can re-harness that energy. We can save that for another day. If you can’t wait any longer, just visit your favorite search-engines and get the ball rolling. I want you all to remember the fun we had playing in that empty box.

Needless to say the students knocked our challenges out of the park. The answers and recommendations aren’t easy. But that was never the point. The work will still be hard and folks set in their ways are challenging no matter what the topic. Leaving those students on Wednesday afternoon was bittersweet for me. I fell in love with their energy, insight, smarts and most of all their sense of humor. They were having fun and not afraid to express it and share it. I walked away missing those kidz (yeah, I call ’em that), but feeling so much better about the world.

It was a teachable moment for them. But I’m the one who learned the most. Keep fighting the good fight. And Thank you Center for Community Health for making me part of your program.

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