The Amity Program marked its second year anniversary this February 2022. Through its four branches: (1) Pen-pal Program, (2) Telephone Correspondence Program, (3) Card-making Program, and (4) Art Box Program, it has been able to gather donations and gain enthusiastic participation from teen students and older people. It has partnered with other non-profit organizations, such as Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and Enders Island, as well as senior living communities, which include Artis Senior Living, StoneRidge, Pennswood Village, Carleton-Willard Village, Judson Park, and Waveny Lifecare Network.
Hattie Shapard, the founder of The Amity Program, was interviewed so that we can know more about her leadership experience and plans for the organization.
What are your insights in founding The Amity Program?
My experience in founding the Amity Program has been a formative part of my high school experience. Without the Amity Program, I would not be the empathetic leader that I am today. Having leadership experience has opened new doors for me, and I am grateful to be able to share this with more high school students.
What are your plans for this month and the rest of the year?
My plan for this month and the rest of the year is to kick off the Student Leadership Division (SLD). The skills which I learned and will pass on include but are not limited to public speaking, team management, outreach for non-profit organizations, and kind leadership.
The SLD application will be reviewed shortly after February 25th. Following the first meeting in April, check back on this blog for updates. Soon after, students will be offered to become rising co-leaders to maintain this program for years to come.
What is your vision for SLD?
I designed SLD to share the joys of leadership, the skills I learned while leading a non-profit organization, and my passion for The Amity Program. I will be sharing the environment where I have been able to learn that I value connection, empathy, and leadership. It will provide students with skills that will be useful if they want to make a program of their own someday and make an impactful change, like The Amity Program.
With all things considered, The Amity Program is a wonderful way to encourage intergenerational interaction. Older adults and high school students are provided opportunities to learn from each other and make meaningful connections through correspondence and art. The addition of SLD to the roster of programs will help teen students gain leadership and marketing skills, as well as entrepreneurship experience in a non-profit organization.