As a college student, Avery deliberately decided to utilize his education to make a difference in the lives of others, particularly marginalized people. He became very sensitive to, and interested in the socio-economic barriers, like poverty and systematic oppression of class, gender, and race. Avery's first step was volunteering to mentor youth in a local after school program. The next semester he assumed an internship with Masspirg to work on their open source textbooks campaign. Avery believed that college textbooks are too expensive and thus not accessible to many students, something he found fundamentally unfair and counter intuitive to the mission of public education. Additionally, being sensitive to the poverty in his college town of North Adams, MA, Avery and his friends established a group on campus called "Be Great" that worked to establish an emergency food pantry and an organic garden network. Avery and the group also collected and distributed food donations and canvassed (door-to-door) to ask people how they can best be served and empowered. Avery plans to continue his activism to help empower citizens and make the Northern Berkshires a better place to live.
Just like many in America, education did not come easy for me. To add value to my educational experience, I became excited about making a difference in the lives of others, particularly those who suffer from poverty and systematic oppression of class, gender, and race. I wanted to empower others. I did an internship with Masspirg to work on their open source textbooks campaign. This became a successful nationwide campaign that opened my eyes to the power of advocacy and grassroots campaigns to affect social change. Concurrently, I helped established a group on campus called "Be Great"; founded on the principle that a strong community is one that can feed itself and be self-sufficient. I helped establish an emergency food pantry as a starting point to organize and galvanize the local community. I collected and distributed food donations; canvassed (door-to-door) to ask people how they can best be served and empowered. These experiences have allowed me to learn critical leadership, problem solving and skills to affect social change. I will continue to be an advocate for those who are marginalized and disenfranchised.