- Arranged the first meeting for the Refugee Gardens Partnership, a hopeful collaboration of seven Buffalo grassroots organizations and the Cornell High Road Fellowship.
- Linked the local enthusiasm for a refugee gardens program to the national Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP).
- Lived in the Net Zero House built by PUSH Buffalo and awarded winner of the International Sustainable Urban Housing Competition by HUD and American Planning Association.
- Recorded the history of the foundation of Urban Roots by interviewing one of the founding members.
- Became an active West Side Buffalo community member: teaching neighborhood children, exploring Buffalo, and attending local summer events. Assisted with daily operation of Urban Roots gardening and customer service, gaining experience and knowledge of working within a different business model, a cooperative.
"I am loving Buffalo. I think I liked it the second I got off the plane on Sunday morning. It’s flat (totally bikable), there’s always a lovely breeze, aaaannnddd the food is AMAZING. Oh, and there is Canada too. . . One thing that Buffalo has confirmed is my belief in the good hard work of people who care for other people."
"With Derya, in came bright fresh air. She is super, and the High Road fellows have just adopted this community"