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PTK Honors Action Project Geared to Worcester Homeless

October, 2017
  • Dr. Luis Pedraja, Senator Harriette Chandler and Worcester Commissioner of Health & Human Services, Dr. Matilde Castiel, joined PTK student leaders to discuss their honors action project.
  • From left: Tony Sanders, Senator Harriette Chandler, PTK President Maia Shalev and PTK Vice President of Leadership, Nicole Bodinizzo.

Earlier this month QCC’s Phi Theta Kappa officers met with Senator Harriette Chandler, Worcester Commissioner of Health & Human Services, Dr. Matilde Castiel, and QCC’s President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja, to discuss the chapter’s Honors Action Project and how they hoped to help make a difference for the homeless in Worcester.

The PTK Honors in Action Project is part of the group’s initiative to become a five star chapter in the international honor society. To become a five star, a charter must demonstrate a global element of engagement outside of its community. A primary component of becoming a five star chapter is through a yearlong Honors Action Project chosen from one of eight themes from the current Honors Action Program Guide. This year’s PTK officers chose the theme: “RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: What roles do rights and responsibilities play in shaping ways in which the world works?”

In discussing ideas for the project, PTK officers decided to address the issue of whether or not government is responsible for potable water for sanitation and consumption.The group decided they would like to champion the cause of potable water and developed an Honors Action Project proposal that detailed creating a mobile shower bus, which would service the homeless of Worcester.

The PTK officers presented their idea to Senator Chandler and Dr. Castiel and while both felt this was an admirable project, they concluded it would be too difficult to implement. However, the PTK officers were not to be deterred and a collaborative discussion ensued. Dr. Castiel told the students that housing was truly the immediate need of the homeless. Dr. Castiel cited a recent report by the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance, Inc. that showed a total of 1,111 people who were homeless in the City of Worcester.

PTK officers in attendance agreed that this would be a better avenue to pursue and discussed ways in which they could bring in modular housing for the homeless. The officers left the meeting exciting to share what they learned with other PTK members and revamp their project.