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!
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.
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.
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!