Story by Sean Beach. Edited by Dionel Grice and Sean Beach. Photos by Dionel Grice and Sean Beach.
APRIL 28, 2016: On April 10, 2016, two students from Friendship Tech Prep left to travel to Flint, Michigan so we could initiate “The Flint Friendship Project”. It was a project that is constructed for Friendship Tech Prep Academy and the International Academy of Flint to help develop a different understanding of Flint, Michigan's water crisis, to help The International Academy of Flint and donate water to their school. We came back to Washington, DC on April 12, 2016. Two science Instructors, Ms. Lynne Gober and Mr. Courtney Moses and two Friendship Tech Prep scholars Sean Beach and Dionel Grice left on the Greyhound bus to give water.
We stopped at multiple places on the way: Baltimore, MD, Somerset, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland, OH, and Detroit, MI. It was a very nice but long trip. We were able go somewhere that none of us had ever been.
It was a great experience for all of us to show our support for what is happening in Flint with the water crisis. The water crisis of Flint, MI happened because the former Mayor of Flint changed where Flint was getting its water from and then found out that there was lead poison in their water. We took our donated water to the school so they can have water to drink during school hours.
When we got to the school we were interviewed by ABC News 12 in Flint. We had a little discussion with some other
7th grade scholars at the International Academy of Flint about how they felt about the situation. Some of the students felt confident because one of them said the water in their house is being tested. They gave us a sample of their water which used to be brown but is now back to it’s regular clear color. The water is now clear because Flint, MI has switched back from getting their water from the Detroit River. It’s also clear because the school changed their pipes which is the best thing to do so that their water would not be so dirty.
Having to travel out of town to go help another city took a lot out of us and we really learned a lot about community service. We also learned a lot about giving back to people in need of assistance. On our way to Flint, we had some minor setbacks that could have stopped us from getting to Flint on time.
At the International Academy of Flint, they made us a really nice sign that said, “Welcome Friendship Charter, Thanks for the Water”. We saw their really big school and some of the different types of classrooms that they have. We also saw something really strange to us in DC. We saw water fountains that says “DO NOT DRINK UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE”. We had never seen something like that before we went to Flint.
The water crisis to us is a horrible situation for Flint. Citizens in Flint do not have reliable drinking water from their home sinks, or school fountains. People have to step up and help provide assistance to Flint just like Friendship Tech Prep did. As a lot of people say, “We are the greatest country and the most powerful, so we need to be powerful and great to help Flint”.
In the Comment Section below this article, please write what you think about the water crisis in Flint.
Sean Beach and Dionel Grice are 7th grade scholars at Friendship Tech Prep Academy.