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This is My CITI

Written by Victoria Taylor, CITI Youth intern

I am 17 years old and live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Growing up, I saw posters for neighborhood meetings and elderly women going door to door to invite people to the meetings. At the time, I did not know what a Community Board was and neither did my family.

This changed last September. While in my senior year at the Academy of Urban Planning High School in Bushwick I was introduced to an internship program named CITI, the Community Information Technology Initiative. Through this program, I got a job as a map technician. At meetings of Community Board 3 in Bed Stuy, my partner Peejay and I search for and display digital maps of neighborhoods and buildings as board members discuss them.

Working as a map technician can be a very difficult task because we have to listen carefully to what is being said and be ready to map out the correct locations. But, at the same time, the meetings are very interesting. I have learned about the issues facing my neighborhood like crime, drugs, sewage smells and emergency evacuation plans.

I love my job. It makes me feel like I belong because I am young and not so many high school students can say that they have been involved in something where they can contribute to positive change.