Walking down the busy streets of New York, the one thing most apparent is change. We saw old synagogues, now brand new churches. We walked through a four year old Jewish medical school built inside the old department store where Martin Luther King Jr. was stabbed. We saw new luxury condos being built inside old tenements in neighborhoods that people used to never consider spending so much money to live there. We walked around Harlem and saw a mix of fantastic history and new developments. We went to the Apollo Amateur Night where we saw rising stars sing on the same stage as legends had years ago. We sat in a Crown Heights youth center, learning about a rough past while sitting in a place that works on peaceful change everyday. We toured the financial district and learned how what was once an African burial ground is now Thurgood Marshall Court House. As we learned about change, we changed as well, learning more about each other and becoming closer as we started the first leg of our journey. It is only the beginning, and I know there is much more change to come. To the South!
Michele Ozer, J.R. Masterman High School, OU 2010