DSSG-ATL off to a great start!

Good morning! We are in the middle of week two of the Data Science for Social Good summer program. My name is Allison, and I am one of the 16 interns participating in this awesome kick-off summer of DSSG in Atlanta.

A little bit about me: I am an Atlanta native. I have loved puzzles and problem solving for as long as I can remember. I love computer programming and the outdoors…not always a good mix, but this summer, the combination is working to my advantage! I am a (very) recent graduate of Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and I am so excited to be a part of this program. When the opportunity was presented to me, I knew I couldn’t pass it up! This type of real-world problem solving with positive social impact is exactly the kind of job I have been looking for. What better way could there be to start using my degree in my own home town?

DSSG-ATL Update: Last week, the interns heard presentations on each of the community projects that DSSG will be working with this summer. On Friday, we were divided into teams based on our preferences and skill sets. Honestly, I think all of the projects sounded amazing, and I would have been happy to work on any of them (I think the other interns felt this way too!). I wish we didn’t have to choose just one, but we only have 10 weeks! This summer I will have the privilege of working with Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture in Atlanta. My teammates are Emily Reese and Ricky Mouser. Hopefully you will get to meet them soon! Emily traveled here from Kentucky, and Ricky from Texas. This will be our third day working together on the project, and I couldn’t be happier with our team dynamic. Joining us today will be our fourth “team member,” a bird’s nest fern.

dssgfern

I thought we could try our hand at growing in the city. It’s not quite urban agriculture, but it’s a start! This is going to be a great summer!

Truly Living Well Getting to Know Truly Living Well: Truly Living Well is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2006 with the goal of bringing natural, fresh, healthy produce to local residents of Atlanta through a CSA (community supported agriculture) program. Since its founding, Truly Living Well has expanded to include educational programs and urban agriculture training in an effort to share their knowledge and promote healthy, food-secure communities. To find out more about Truly Living Well and the programs and services they offer, visit their website at http://trulylivingwell.com/. Emily, Ricky, and I hope to be able to visit one of their urban farms this week to get a better idea of how they operate and what challenges they are facing. So far, we believe one of the biggest issues is the lack of an efficient and consistent system for data collection. Truly Living Well relies heavily on the work of volunteers. Some volunteers may work long-term, while others may be there for only a day. Consequently, the turnover of people working with TLW makes it difficult to maintain a consistent method of data collection. It will be interesting to see what the solution to this might look like… Stay tuned for project updates!

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