Teen interns explore their communities through Asset Mapping

By Kotone Deguchi, AmeriCorps service member

There are so many different ways and places we can learn. A park, an art gallery, a shop, a cafe, a market. FabNewport and PVD Young Makers (PVDYM) are integrating Place Based Education into our philosophy. We are seeking new ways to recognize and share these community resources as assets for building connections in our communities.

One of the ways we’re organizing our community knowledge is through Asset Mapping. Students are inventorying the people who make up a community. Asset mapping is a way of looking closely at a community, exploring its complexity, and finding opportunities.

An important aspect of Asset Mapping is using the collective map as a resource to explore and discover new relationships. We plan to create a portal for the public to create a collective Asset Map, to centralize knowledge, share our hidden gems, and see the paths we weave as we move through our communities.

For instance, The PVDYM teen interns and instructors went to Homegrown, a Providence plant nursery and gallery space. The interns made a great connection with the owner Russell Stafford and artist Karis Kang, which created the opportunity for an ongoing partnership.

Meanwhile, AmeriCorps member Kotone Deguchi and PVDYM teen intern Bellie Karpee, began their own iteration of Asset Mapping, pinning places they like to go and resources they want to share on Google Maps. Knowledge comes from many places, not just from formal institutions, so the rest of the PVD Young Maker interns will add to this collective Asset Map.