Sunday, October 17, 2021

URSP Student Selassie Fugar Researches Multiple ways to Support the Bailey's Culmore Community

The Culmore neighborhood of Bailey’s Crossroads is an area located in Fairfax County, Virginia. As one of the most disadvantaged places in Northern Virginia, this area consists of many different types of people from the Latinx community as well as other races and ethnicities. Kaiser Permanente plays a big role in fostering the vision to build a better community in Culmore. Due to the grant that was given to George Mason University and CASA de Virginia, creating a vision for Culmore that improves their community based on the social determinants of health is more achievable.

My research focuses on food insecurity and providing what people need and what to eat in the community. My main focus amongst food insecurity is how to make people in the community comfortable with receiving free food and how to reduce unhealthy lifestyles as well. One way of fostering healthy lifestyles is providing access to free or cheaper healthy foods through connections with different farms and gardens with certain faith-based organizations. Another way we could foster healthy lifestyles is to set up cooking classes for people who don't know how to use healthy food.

From this project I have learned how to better communicate with others and how to assume that everyone I interview will be friendly instead of the opposite. Developing conversational skills will improve my outlook on this project and help me remember that it is not what I think is best for the community but what the community wants for themselves.