June 3, 2015
I’ve been involved with air quality work since 2009, my freshman year of high school. I got involved because my brother Davonte is a REEP alum. The Air Quality Team attracted me because my whole family has asthma except me – it touches home so I wanted to make a difference. DERO focuses on neighborhoods that aren’t really looked at. It shows that our neighborhoods are not full of negativity, that they’re not a bad place to be. When people think of Boston, they think of Newbury Street, but they don’t think of Blue Hill Ave or places like Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan that have higher asthma rates.
One of my favorite moments, probably one of everyone’s favorite moments, was the public hearing in December 2011 we had at City Hall. There were so many people in that room—high school students with masks on their faces, the whole REEP family there—and it was just a good feeling, all of us and four city councilors. It was good to know that someone in a position of power heard where you’re coming from and agreed. It’s a good feeling and that’s what made me want to stay even though it was not easy at all.