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Kenneth Williams Class of ’12

Graduation Year: 2012

Major: Economics

Job Title: Outreach Coordinator

Organization: NYC Parks GreenThumb

Current City: New York City

What do you do on a daily basis at your job/project?

I’m the primary line of contact for community gardeners particularly in Manhattan. This task consists of addressing any matters gardeners present to me. It sets up the platform for  accomplishing my general responsibilities, which usually fall under four main categories: garden support, workshops, networking, and supply management.

Are you pursuing any other projects?

A group of friends and I are looking into pursuing a social entrepreneurship project focused on promoting and sustaining urban agricultural initiatives among younger generations.

What did you learn from your PCI involvement?

A good, solid goal will always be accompanied by various options on how to accomplish it. Access to resources—funding, advisors, supporters—will help you in reaching your goal and discovering opportunities evolving from it.

Which of those things do you think about the context of your current job/class/life?

I firmly believe that experiences within my entire life will continue to reinforce the notion that everything is interrelated. From the mistakes we make to the accolades we receive and the journeys we take, all of it plays a part in what we do. For instance, the experience I had with establishing a school garden program in the South Bronx lead me to working with the largest community garden program in the nation. Additionally, I’m currently looking for opportunities to expand on my perspective from such experiences.

How did your experience with PCI fit in with your larger Middlebury experience and education?

It supplemented the work I received within the conventional classroom learning experience at Middlebury.

What are some unexpected challenges you’ve had in your post-graduation pursuits? (or your current job) What are some pleasant surprises?

The experience I had while attending Middlebury has evoked extensive moments of reflection post graduation. At times they feel quite distracting, but ultimately very much needed. As such, they’ve been both a challenge and surprise. The unforgettable experience I’ve had at Middlebury now represents another experience deposited in my memory bank that I tap into for various purposes. At my current job such an experience provides me with a heightened sense of calmness when I have new and unfamiliar projects to pursue. The work I did in the South Bronx is one of many experiences that has helped me gain a framework towards how to navigate successfully within such circumstances of innovation.

Where do you see yourself going in the future?

I’m looking to pursue a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning in a program that grants me the flexibility of pursuing courses in food security, policy and agronomy. I’m currently pretty comfortable back home in NYC and would like to pursue graduate study here. Projects  such as the School Garden Project in the South Bronx have given me the greatest sense of fulfillment. They allow me to use my academic experience as an outlet towards strengthening positive aspects of myself and communities within NYC or similar landscapes.  For that reason, I’m in the process of finding a graduate program within NYC to find more opportunities to create bridges between my academic experience and surrounding communities.


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