The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) is based in the Queens neighborhood of Corona, one of the areas of New York City most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the large populations of first-generation immigrant families from Central and South America in Corona and nearby neighborhoods, including Elmhurst and East Elmhurst, the effects of the pandemic have been compounded by economic hardships and job losses. Undocumented community members have been ineligible for federal relief. To respond to its community’s needs, NYSCI is participating in two initiatives staffed by summer interns. First, the Elmhurst Corona Recovery Collaborative comprises twenty local nonprofit organizations that have been active in addressing community needs through four working groups focused on food and economic security, health and healing, education and community welfare, and fundraising. Through these focus areas, the Collaborative will work to address food insecurity in the community; support the mental health needs of children, teens, and adults related to the pandemic; and support local cultural institutions to provide virtual educational programming for youth. Karol Londoño, a Corona-based doctoral student, will represent NYSCI at ECRC’s meetings and assist with overall strategy Second, NYSCI will participate in outreach efforts to address the low Census participation rate in Corona and Elmhurst and ensure that residents understand the purpose and value of completing this year’s Census. Denzel Capellan, a rising college junior, will support NYSCI’s effort to train Census Enumerators to work locally in the community and support follow-up efforts related to a Census-awareness telethon that NYSCI hosted in June.
This award supports two summer internships organized by the New York Hall of Science.