Ben Honeck

Patrick Mooney

first volunteer to be invited to this platform.

Monday afternoon-
I am very pleased to be the first volunteer to be invited to this platform- I hope to certainly set a standard for great things to come! I will as best as I can blog about my experiences and finding here throughout this week with a general thought and observation daily. Spending time in Milwaukee so far has proved to be excellent and I have high expectations for the rest of my time here and hope to help the Sweetwater community any way I can!

From working for the past few days already I think Im getting a real experience for the sweetwater foundation, its aspects, and uniqueness. This uniqueness is what drove me here initially but now Im really getting a feel for it. Working with the students at Fernwood Montessori school particularly has given me an insight that Sweetwater is absolutely essential to the community. It is a place of life, of hopes, dreams, and a resilience that scaling back has not taken away. Learning about the process of Sweetwater leaves room for the imagination to grow and an entire community to develop to embrace the future of sustainability! There’s just so much to digest and so many views I cannot express alone no I would have to sit on this for a while- its unique I love it. I’m proud to say so far I’ve volunteered for something that I know will impact the future of Milwaukee directly, its tangible and not only in the business aspect alone but socially. I think thats what Sweetwater will be remembered for years from now- as a great community builder and a place of learning and life.

What a week! As I mull over the opportunities that I had at Sweetwater I can but nothing but absolutely thankful for the experience. Regardless of any of the challenges that have happened, Jim and everyone keep pressing on all I can say is that everyone at Sweetwater who has weathered the storm and stuck around is truly inspirational! What a great group of people with a truly life changing goal- I pray that that spark never ceases. I hope its something that I will take into my being and reproduce it here at home with the University of Kentucky and foster a fond relationship between the University and Sweetwater Foundation. I hope to find more people with the mission to create strong communities centered around life and the Sweetwater purpose, its something the world needs not just Milwaukee, or Chicago, or India or wherever. The whole world needs aquaponics and a community center to guide and feed the world. Its hard work, labor and all I cant begin to say how I hurt nearly at the end of everyday but I knew that it was purposeful and my mark was tangible. I just really hope I can get more university students to commit to interning to be a part of the change the world needs it as do college students- to see a tangible change they can make! The journey will be challenging but Sweetwater breeds strong people that the world needs truly. I will continue to think on my experience and write down my thoughts as they come.

Wednesday April 4th (final reflection)-

Its been about 2 weeks since my Volunteering at SWF and I’m still mulling over many things related to the experience. I feel in a way there is one big piece I have overlooked about my experience but its taking time to slowly unravel the mystery of it all to me. It definitely leaves me looking for more and wanting to help more as much as I can. Being at Sweetwater is like a journey in many ways and not the trial-and-error kind but the every step you take has a reverberating echo kind of journey. Every effort there is tangible towards the future and the community and something larger than your comprehension alone, and it is certainly my hope that the new direction the Foundation has taken proves to be truly fruitful in a socially sustainable way. Its truly humbling to have worked with James Godsil and Jesse Blom who tire in ways we cannot begin to see from the outside to keep the goal alive and be a positive model for a struggling community. It certainly appears in my mind Sweetwater would be lost without them and I highly encourage anyone to take the time to talk to James, Jesse, and the rest of the Sweetwater team not merely as employees but people with goals and dreams like everyone else. Milwaukee is the perfect city for Sweetwater in my mind and between them and Growing Power I cannot think of a better fit for the community and vibe of the city! Its certainly not my last time at Sweetwater I hope to volunteer many times in the future and take that goal with me to wherever I end up as well!

Last edited by Patrick Mooney. Based on work by godsil and Godsil.  Page last modified on April 03, 2013

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