Bicell Walker Alumni Highlight

March 2016

Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Bicell Walker, I’m 26 yrs old.  I have four beautiful baby girls.  I was born and raised in Philadelphia.  I’m a very outgoing, loving person.  I’m a great leader. I like to joke and have fun. I love to cook (especially soul food, Jamaican, and African).  In the back of my head, I’ve always wanted to go to culinary school. Family first, then I can start on me.

When were you in PowerCorpsPHL?

I was a crew member on Mabari Byrd’s crew in Cohort 1.  I was Assistant Crew Leader to Mr. Byrd in Cohort 2.  And in Cohort 3 I was the Associate Crew Leader.  It was the first time PowerCorpsPHL had that position.  As Associate, I would substitute for Crew Leaders when they were out.  I was responsible for distributing transpasses and I helped around the office with paperwork & documentation.  I also went on site visits with Supportive Services, to check in with crews and crew leaders.

What are you up to now?

I work for AKRF as a Green Stormwater Infrastructure Technician.  AKRF has a contract with Philadelphia Water to maintain Green Stromwater Infrastructure (GSI) sites across Philadelphia. My buddy Paul Johnson found the job, it was initially listed as a landscaping position.  I had no GSI experience beforehand.  When I started at AKRF, other PowerCorpsPHL alumni (Osmond and Luis) trained me in GSI.  And the one and a half years of landscaping experience from PowerCorps made it an easy transition.  I love how flexible my schedule is with AKRF, I can still spend time with my family.  I’ve been trying to balance work and family.  And I try to find some time for myself.  I’ve looked into Community College of Philadelphia and Temple for Culinary Arts, but don’t have time right now to go through with it.  I want to do so much! Culinary arts, remodeling homes, car mechanics.  I don’t want to pay other people to do these things, I want to be able to do it myself.

What about in your free time?

I have a little bit of free time.  I just started training for boxing.  It’s a great experience; there are so many different ways to box and train, it’s interesting.  I just got some running sneakers.  I like to walk and sight-see, I find it relaxing.  It’s my way of meditating.  I’m also interested in yoga.  Health is very important to me.  I want to set a good example for my daughters and stay around for them.  I have a 3 year old, a set of 2 year old twins, and an 8 month old baby!

What motivates you?

My daughters and my family motivate me.  Growing up, I didn’t have a father.  My mother and grandmother raised me.  When I found out my (now) wife was pregnant with my first daughter, I knew I needed to change. I want better for myself and I want better for them.  I had to cut off a lot of negative people, friends and family.  When times get rough and I don’t want to go to work I know that bills gotta get paid and my daughters gotta be fed, so I get up.  

How did your time with PowerCorpsPHL impact you?

It opened my eyes and gave me a different view on life.  It taught me to be able to lead and be able to listen.  Being around a diverse crowd of staff and members allowed me to be the mentor and the mentee.  Without PowerCorpsPHL, I never would have learned to cut a tree or cared about littering.  Now my daughters know not to litter.  

Coming up, I took school for a joke.  Now I’m thinking of going to college for culinary arts, landscaping, everything! I want to keep that creative energy, that positive energy flowing.  I mean, I have those days. But then I call Mr. Pat or Mr. Byrd or Mr. Mike and they keep me in check.

Now that you’re an alumni, what sort of involvement would you like to have with PowerCorpsPHL?

I want to be more involved, I want to speak on panels.  It’s hard with coordinating schedule with family and work and everything.  But I know my experience can touch current members more than anyone.

What do you miss about PowerCorpsPHL? What don’t you miss?

I miss that family environment.  I miss being around my crew, having those great, creative conversations, and giving each other advice.  When I was Associate and in the office, I had the opportunity to be around Ms Shelley and Chya and see their view and that they really care.

I don’t miss Mr. Nick with all these projects! I don’t miss the Horticultural Center, I spent 2 Cohorts there! But it looks good now.

What do you hope to do in the future?

I want to go back to school and further my education.  I want to take up culinary arts, I want to be a chef.  I want to be a better father, husband, mentor, and leader.  Anything that makes me better, I’m all for it!

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