Students of the Wagner College First Year Learning Community Society and the City hit the streets recently to tour the East Shore of Staten Island. The purpose for the 26 students was to evaluate and collect data to share with the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce for the upcoming Needs Assessment Report for that area.
Since the East Shore of Staten Island was one of the hardest hit areas during Hurricane Sandy, an evaluation of needs in the area includes gathering primary data on district environmental issues such as flood resiliency, transportation arteries, documenting commercial vacancies, and collecting information overall that would tell the story of needs for economic development in this community.
While collecting the data, the students had the opportunity to engage with members of the East Shore business community, including merchants and other community stakeholders. Led by Wagner College professors Dr. John Esser and Dr. Abraham Unger, who is also the Project Manager for the East Shore LDC, the students were joined by Maria Esposito of Mid-Island Councilman Steve Matteo’s office, and Debra Derrico of Community Board 2.
The Chamber’s goal is that local business and community leaders will become more civically engaged through their interactions with the students in providing a forum which offers local residents and business people a voice for their concerns and vision regarding the role of government, civic organizations, and the private sector in rebuilding the East Shore’s neighborhood economy.
This student fieldwork in partnership with the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce was made possible by a grant from Wagner College Fox Fellows donors Alex and Graham Fox.