My name is Ibrahim Grimes, and I am currently a junior at the Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter school. I consider myself a pretty well-rounded teenager, who likes to hang out with friends, play sports, and tries to do well in school and give back to my community. I also try and participate in various extracurricular activities, including robotics, a college prep program, an engineering program, an explorer internship with PECO and most recently, world travel. My mom has made it her business to make sure that my brother and I apply to and participate in programs that will give us experiences in many different areas.
One of the most surprising programs has been the stewardship with the Philadelphia Land Institute’s Watershed Program. During this past year I have learned so much more about the environment and nature in and around Philadelphia than I thought I knew! I would have never guessed that so many species of bugs, critters, birds and animals lived right around the neighborhoods surrounding where we live and go to school. Never would have guessed that there were old aqueducts running under the city, never knew anything about Bartram’s Gardens or the John Heinz Wildlife refuge! Getting to hike the trails through some parts of Fairmount Park and learn to identify different trees and plants (not to mention bugs and even a small snake) was the best; like we were not even in our own neighborhood. There were some cool opportunities to do a bike ride-a long, and also to go kayaking in the program, and to even speak to groups of community members about how valuable the experience was for me. It’s an experience that I would recommend to my friends, and that I would probably like to continue with next year.