background image
  • Find us on Facebook
  • Find us on Twitter
  • Submit us to Stumble
  • Google Plus us

Tips & Advice

Rockland Roundtable Initiative

Twenty two-year-old Mark Svensson from Orangeburg, New York, along with Marvin Mathew, founded the Rockland Roundtable Initiative during the summer of 2011 in hopes of engaging youth in the community. The Rockland Roundtable Initiative is a project that engages youth and community leaders is discussions about how to better the Rockland community.

“We want to get together and discuss what the issues are, how they are affecting our community and how we can make an impact,” Svensson said. “For me, that’s what I look forward to- what will be next and what the next discussion will lead to. That’s the best part of it all, just seeing the solutions we come up with.”

This summer, the Rockland Roundtable Initiative is working with President Obama’s United We Serve Initiative in an effort to promote volunteering. To accomplish this, the Rockland Roundtable Initiative is organizing a number of volunteer opportunities throughout the summer, including food drives and a program to improve literacy rates.

“We started off helping specifically in areas of education, and from there we’ve expanded, and now we have individuals who are interested in all different matters,” Svensson said. “We are really trying to find ways that we can drive people with a diversity of opportunities to volunteer. We have a number of awesome programs going on.”

One new program for the Rockland Roundtable Initiative is a physical fitness program. This program focuses on why staying fit is so challenging and how to fix that. The solution the Rockland Roundtable came up with are exercise partners.

“If you want to become fit, you don’t necessarily have someone to go to the gym with and push you everyday,” Svensson said. “We have a number of young people in our community who are signing up to be almost like workout buddies for fellow young people.”

Even after the summer and the Rockland Roundtable Initiatives work under United We Serve ends, the group will continue the discussions and problem solving in the community.

“For me, the best thing is seeing the young people feel empowered and feel like they’re making a difference,” Svensson said. “When they sit in these discussions, they feel like their voices are being heard, and they feel like their ideas are having an impact.”

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

embed video powered by Union Development