HOW CIVIC ENGAGEMENT MADE ME MORE LIKELY TO COMMIT TO GRADUATING
BY RAMEEZ KHAN
NJIT '20, CIVIL ENGINEERING
I enjoy partaking in civic engagement, because of all the natural fun! During the Spring of 2018, I got the opportunity to volunteer at Future City, Inc. for a multiple day assignment. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at the time, but I was excited to be a part of something bigger. I met great people at Future City who were very friendly. Not only this, they were more than happy to teach me, and help me learn about the organization. Our assignment was to go around some nearby neighborhoods to check the condition of storm inlets.
It was rather fun walking around to get our assignment accomplished. The other students and I connected in a way I couldn’t have imagined in a different setting. As we were walking around Elizabeth, we just talked and really got to know one another. As a Civil Engineering student, I could see how what we were doing was related to my studies. I got to draw out locations on paper for the storm inlets, mark the streets/intersections they were located on and track their position with a handheld GPS unit.
When we returned to Future City, we inputted our coordinates into ArcGIS. At the end, we had a working map that explained the conditions of each storm inlet we had tracked. Once we had completed our task, we invited the mayor of Elizabeth to present our findings. It was a pleasure to see that our work was well received and appreciated.
Looking back, I’m glad I spent my spring break at Future City! This experience really showed me how anyone with a college degree, can really help out others. To this day, I enjoy doing similar work with NJIT’s Engineers Without Borders Chapter. Once I graduate and become a Civil Engineer, I look forward to creating more resilience within our communities.