"Earth Force is great not because it rescues kids who are living in poverty, but because it provides them with tools and confidence to help themselves." - Asia Dorsey
To see Asia Dorsey today is to see an excited social entrepreneur who is currently a sophomore at New York University studying Sociology and Environmental Studies and a member of the Board of Directors of Earth Force. Asia earned a full scholarship that will pay for her education through graduate school.
Asia comes from the Five Points neighborhood, the first predominantly African-American neighborhood in Denver. In the 1920s through the 1950s, Five Points was synonymous with Jazz and offered a rich mix of local businesses and culture. But by the time Asia was born, Five Points was suffering from the influx of drugs, crime, and neglect. Asia could have languished here, in a poor community with struggling schools, but she sought out people, resources and opportunities that helped her chart a different path. Earth Force was one of those opportunities.
Asia first participated in Earth Force in elementary school. She fondly remembers her first project, a community recycling effort that used public education to increase access to recycling in public spaces. Asia and her classmates "presented their ideas to an auditorium of proud parents from the best low-income neighborhood in the world!" Over the next six years, she continued to participate in Earth Force, developing and leading a number of projects. In her words, her Earth Force experience challenged her "understanding of environmental issues, how those issues applied in poor neighborhoods, and the role of community engagement in addressing issues of environmental justice."
The impact that Earth Force had on Asia is profound. As she says, "Earth Force is great not because it rescues kids who are living in poverty, but because it provides them with tools and confidence to help themselves." Having the ability to learn from and engage with intelligent and down-to-earth individuals ultimately helped to shape her relationship to the professional world and, at the same time, kept her grounded in what was most important for her own future.