Roswell Park Employees and Students Do Their Part for Local Neighborhood

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 3:36pm

Buffalo is the city of good neighbors. We’re always willing to lend a helping hand and do our part to make our communities better. At Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, we take pride in our city and extend our care to the neighborhoods that surround our campus.

This community-mindedness was expressed in a project this summer within the Fruit Belt, a neighborhood bordering Roswell Park to the east. Organized by Roswell Park Grounds Superintendent Daniel Bey and the Facilities Department, the effort continued a tradition of an annual cleanup in the Fruit Belt that has been ongoing for several years. “We took it upon ourselves to initiate an in-house program, where I acted as supervisor and utilized three students from the Buffalo Health Sciences Charter School to do more of a consistent cleanup throughout the neighborhood,” says Bey.

The team took time away from its work on the Roswell Park campus, picking up any trash and debris they found, as they swept the sidewalks of Virginia, Carlton and High Streets from Michigan Avenue east to Jefferson Street, to help beautify the neighborhood.

“I think it was really satisfying, not only for myself but also the high school students,” says Bey.  “We were able to play a role in our neighborhood and extend beyond Roswell Park’s boundaries, and do a good thing for that community.”

This was the second summer that Roswell Park has partnered with Buffalo Health Sciences Charter School for their work-based learning program, which provides students opportunities for internships and employment outside of the classroom.

“It was a good experience for the students. They do a lot of things that eventually will give them some experiences above and beyond academics, which is the mission of the work-based learning program,” says Diane Morgante, Career Coordinator with Health Sciences Charter School.

Students worked in several areas of the Facilities Department at Roswell Park, assisting in architectural, landscaping and beautification programs. Business teacher Kristine DiPasquale believes that the three students involved in the neighborhood cleanup bought into the idea that appearances can have a positive impact on someone’s life.

“We talked about how important it was that the kids understood who they were servicing. They weren’t just doing this for the patients, but the patients' family and friends, the employees that they were around and the community,” says DiPasquale. “I think that the students matured over the summer. The students said, ‘I can actually go there and do something good and help brighten up someone’s day.’ I think that helped energize them to help clean up the surrounding area.”