Somaly Osteen has more than ten years of experience working for multiple local and international non-profit organizations. Somaly started her career in the country of Cambodia while taking part as a community advocate, community engagement, and development. Currently, Somaly serves as a Community Development Specialist with SEAMAAC where she works within a diverse community filled with immigrants and refugees located in South Philadelphia. While providing assistance to help strengthen local businesses around the community, Somaly is also responsible for building strong relationships with the community where trust has been broken. The focus within the community has been to partner with different resources to strategically cater to the community’s needs. Somaly believes that sustainable development starts from each individual need and sustainable change through unity.
South 7th Street Shops
This grant will allow me to apply my vision into reality. I see the challenge and the need for pedestrians to have safe walking spaces. Improving this area to become a welcoming space for all has always been my goal. The proposed project will celebrate culture, promote safety, and support local small businesses by transforming crosswalks in the heart of the South 7th Street Corridor, Philadelphia. These crosswalk designs will reflect the diversity of the neighborhood through culturally inclusive patterns and symbols that add color to the streets. The designs will include painted bump outs to promote the safety of pedestrians who are shopping at the many small businesses that line this corridor. The added feature will also attract nearby neighbors to visit the corridor and support local immigrant entrepreneurs. The design of the crosswalk will incorporate ideas from community members and partners as it is important to implement a project for a community with unity.