Every summer, 12 students from the University of San Diego and Saint Mary’s College of California choose to spend their summer here at the Alameda Point Collaborative (APC). Through the Mulvaney Immersion Communities for Action and Humility (MICAH) Summer Fellowship, these students live in intentional community with one another and with the residents at APC in an effort to create positive social change. Four of these students are currently working within various departments at APC.
APC has been home to the MICAH Fellows for the past five years. For eight weeks, the fellows live and work within our community, choosing to form personal connections and relationships at APC. During the week, each of the 12 fellows report to a work placement within the larger Bay Area. In the evenings, the MICAHs return to APC and engage with the APC community. MICAHs can be found at the Teen Center or Midway Park getting to know some of APC’s children and youth.
In 2018, the MICAH Fellows painted a mural for the APC community on a wall near the Education Center. The Fellows embraced APC’s history as a decommissioned naval base, and adopted “The Base” as an empowering nickname for the community.
This year, four MICAHs are working at placements here at APC. University of San Diego students Delaney Tax and Nina Schneider are working at APC’s Farm2Market. While there, they help with all of the everyday farm tasks and work with the Youth On-the-Job Trainees. Saint Mary’s student Lydia Borrego is spending her summer at Ploughshares Nursery gardening, watering, and propagating the plants. She is also preparing an education workshop, focused on some of the plants sold at the nursery. University of San Diego student Amy Inkrott is working in APC’s Fund Development office to refine the organization’s media and communications strategy.
The MICAHs are staying at APC until July 28.
Meet Amy: APC Fund Development Media and Communications Associate
Amy Inkrott is a junior at the University of San Diego majoring in Political Science with minors in Communications and Classical Studies. This summer, she is working in APC’s Fund Development Office as a Media and Communications Associate. Over the past few weeks, she has been working to refine APC’s Marketing and Communications strategy and social media presence.
Amy is very passionate about the issue of homelessness and an advocate for permanent supportive housing solutions. She chose to join the MICAH Summer Fellowship in order to gain valuable work experience, and to interact with the communities she is most passionate about. Amy loves being able to both live and work at APC as it allows her to form stronger relationships with the children and youth. Her favorite part of the day is when the youth show up at her office building for lunch. She often spends her lunch breaks talking with the children or outside playing Simon Says.
“I love knowing that my job is, in a way, working to provide for these kids who I have really come to love these past few weeks,” Amy said.
Meet Nina: APC Farm2Market Workforce Training Assistant
Nina is a senior at the University of San Diego majoring in Sociology with a Social Justice concentration and minoring in Environmental Studies. She learned about the MICAH program through her job at the Karen and Tom Mulvaney Center for Community Awareness and Social Action. She wanted to further engage within communities and nonprofit organizations beyond the city of San Diego.
Nina is currently working at APC’s Farm2Market alongside ten of APC’s Youth On-the-Job Trainees. Every week, she helps to teach the Youth OJT class in an effort to provide them with valuable employment skills to be used in the future. Nina loves being able to see the valuable work done by Urban Farms. Recognizing that Alameda used to be considered a food desert, Nina appreciates the availability of locally grown produce.
“I think its an awesome thing to have a farm in the community and to have access to it,” Nina said. “I think it’s really important to know where your food comes from and to have the option of affordable, non-commercialized produce.”
Nina likes being able to live and work at APC as it allows her to build relationships with residents who don’t work at the farm. Living here enables her to meet more members of the community, outside of those in the OJT program. She is excited to see the ways in which the farm can further integrate with the APC community during her MICAH experience.
Meet Delaney: APC Farm2Market Workforce Training Assistant
As a junior at the University of San Diego, Delaney is studying Ethnic Studies with minors in Architecture and Gender Studies. She also plans to earn her Nonprofit Management Certificate so she can go into grant writing in the future.
Delaney is especially passionate about her work at APC’s Farm2Market as she aspires to be an Urban Farmer in the future. She is a strong advocate for food justice and creating sustainability within communities. She joined the MICAH program after seeing the opportunity to work at an urban farm here at APC. Delaney sees the farm as a unique way to connect with the land and foster a sense of healing.
She is excited to see growth among the Youth OJTs when learning about food justice and food sovereignty. She hopes that cultivating this passion within herself and in the Youth OJTs will help build collective wellbeing among APC residents.
“It has really contributed to my passion for wellness within this community,” Delaney said. “Working and living here makes me care about it so much more because I see it every day and I am affected by it. I really want this community to thrive.”
In the future, Delaney hopes to start an urban farm in San Diego county that serves as a healing space for victims of domestic violence.
Meet Lydia: Ploughshares Nursery Horticultural Assistant and Community Outreach Coordinator
Lydia is a junior at Saint Mary’s College of California. She is an integral student, studying a range of liberal arts disciplines through the use of the Socratic method. Lydia applied to be a part of the MICAH program in an effort to build new relationships and live in an intentional community with other students.
This summer, she is working at APC’s Ploughshares Nursery as the Horticultural Assistant and Community Outreach Coordinator. She has found gardening at Ploughshares to be a relaxing and refreshing experience. Lydia also likes working with Ploughshares’s Manager Jeff Bridge because of his positive energy and gardening expertise.
Lydia enjoys working and living at APC and the relationships she has been able to form while here. She loves spending time with APC’s children. Lydia believes that through being present at APC, she is better able to relate to the community she has found.
“Living in the place where you work definitely strengthens the connection between you and your surrounding community,” Lydia said.