Partner School Stories

P2 Senior Citizens Project at Potsdam HS

By Kevin Bou-Abdallah

 The Potsdam Positivity Club wanted to find a way to expand the demographic that our free food market reaches. We found that expanding to senior citizens was a great way to do so. There are more underserved residences, complexes, and apartments housing senior citizens in Potsdam than one would think. To further work toward our goal of offering free food to all, the P2 Club at Potsdam launched the Senior Citizens Project led by Kevin Bou-Abdallah and Halle Varney.

This initiative would take a hefty amount of funding in order to purchase the four iPads that will be sent to the complexes, and the food required to sustain this project. The P2 Club at Potsdam applied for a $10,000 grant from the Kentucky Fried WISHES Foundation. Within less than three weeks, we were informed that we were one of the eleven organizations across the nation that won. We immediately began planning for the check presentation, training dates, and revised system in our student-run food market.

Speaking of the food market, this entire project is only possible because of it. The P2 Food Market, which is managed by students, is the supplier of the groceries and personal hygiene products being delivered to various locations throughout Potsdam. The Food Market is the only student-run food pantry in the region. With over twenty five orders going out weekly, we are already creating an impact in the Potsdam community. However, we feel as though we can do more, and this project is the result.

With the funding secured and the food market ready for action, all that we needed were the students themselves. The co-coordinators of the Senior Citizen project, Kevin Bou-Abdallah, and Halle Varney, created a “Team Mayfield”, and a “Team Midtown” that each consists of roughly 4-8 students. The teams go to Mayfield and Midtown apartments in Potsdam, teach senior residents how to order, answer any questions or concerns they may have. We also train the staff and administration at the residences in case a senior citizen forgets the steps.  Halle and Kevin have been striving to make this as simple and quick as possible for the residents. Senior citizens only have to press the iPad screen one time to get to the order form. The iPads feature an option for the screen to always remain on and a “Guided Access” setting that disables other applications. All someone needs to do to order is simply tap a pre-saved bookmark and order for free every week! 

With some training sessions already completed at the complexes, we are looking to expand into more senior citizen complexes around Potsdam. These include Lawrence Avenue Apartments and Raquette Acres. These apartments and housing facilities would receive an iPad and training to go along with it. We hope to expand and reach even more people in Potsdam by 2022. 

Kevin Bou-Abdallah

Kevin Bou-Abdallah is a sophomore at Potsdam Central High School. This is also his first year in the PHS P2 Club. He strives to do his best at all times, and help as much as possible with P2 projects and opportunities. Kevin can often be found studying, playing basketball, or hanging out with friends.