On July 26th, 2023, the City University of New Remote Sensing Earth System Institute York High School Initiative in Remote Sensing of the Earth Systems Engineering and Sciences (CUNY CREST HIRES) & Summer Bridge and CUNY New York City College of Technology National Science Foundation (NSF) Undergraduate Research Program (REU) & NSF IUSE summer Interns Celebrated Family Day at the beautiful waterfront barge at the Resilience, Education, Training, and Innovation (RETI) Center.  

Group Picture from the event at the RETI Center 

Family Day is a tradition where the interns and their families come together to socialize over food and music, share thoughts outside of the classroom, participate in recreational activities and enjoy themselves. This year, during the event, interns enjoyed a wonderful Barbeque surrounded by fresh air and BlueBlock floating gardens.  

terns Enjoying Lunch at the Waterfront Overlooking the Floating Garden

The event was efficiently organized and led by 2023 CUNY CREST HIRES Mentor, Timothy Aron Medina, Carolina Perez with support and guidance from CUNY HIRES Director Shakila Merchant, Professor at Department of Earth and Env. Sciences at Brooklyn College, CUNY, Jennifer Cherrier; RETI Center Director, Tim Gilman and the CUNY CREST HIRES Admin Team. Additionally, Timothy Aron Medina and Cesar Ortiz meritoriously handled the barbeque during the event and ensured that everyone was able to have a wonderful meal with the fresh vegetables provided by the RETI Center. The Community BBQ event was sponsored by CUNY HIRES program.

Summer Program Community Enjoying the Barbeque | Cesar Ortiz helping with the Grilling

Commenting on the event on behalf of the RETI Center, Tim Gilman said, “We were proud to host so many young people in a learning and working experience on the waterfront. It’s crucial that the next generation students work and learn together to advance a just transition.” 

Further, CUNY CREST HIRES Director, Dr. Merchant said, “community events such as this helps the interns mingle and socially bond and at the same time learn, respect our natural and nature-based ecosystems, and importance of environmental justice, and equity in the face of climate change.”

The event was a great success and served as an informal platform for interns, RETI Center, and the summer program community to engage with each other outside of the classroom.