May 13, 2014 | Community Service, Student Feature
On May 7, first-year student Austin Ochoa attended his first meeting of Manhattan’s Community Board No. 4 (representing the Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen’s neighborhoods) as one of its new members. He also happens to be the youngest person to serve on the community board in many years. His appointment began in early April and will run for one year with the option to reapply.
In reflecting on why he decided to join
Community Board No. 4, Austin commented “I was interested in giving back because the community that I live in (Chelsea) was so gracious in accepting me when I moved here to go to school. I look forward to meeting everyone and working for the greater good of the neighborhood we all take great pride living and working in.” Austin got an initial feel for community service during his current internship with New York City Councilman Daniel R. Garodnick (Democrat, 4th District, Manhattan). He has especially enjoyed constituent outreach. Councilman Garodnick’s work in the community has also inspired Austin. “Since I was young, helping people has been my forte. It is part of my core values,” he admitted.
Austin will serve on the Housing, Health & Human Services committee. Education is one of the issues the committee addresses. Austin believes he can offer a helpful perspective since he is currently a college student. His biggest challenges as a Board member will be learning the issues and determining what will be best and work for the community.