I want to give a special shout out to the youth – the teens and young adults passionate about helping out their community. All throughout high school I had opportunities to join programs that educated me to different social injustices and problems within a city. However, these experiences were more surface level – I got the exposure to these situations, but there was not much depth in actively getting involved. That is why I love the Summer Youth Program in Hamtramck. It was started by the current City Manager Kathy Angerer as a way to get the youth involved in their community and give back.
Every year, the program tends to follow a standard agenda of picking up trash, painting curbs, weeding, covering up graffiti, etc. While those are all important to cleaning the city, I was given the opportunity to incorporate bigger projects for the interns to leave feeling like they left an impact, as well as have a positive impact on the community. This year’s group of interns are eager to be engaged in such a way for their city, and it inspires me to provide them with the best possible experience.
It is these experiences that provide you ways to be actively involved in change in your community that need to be implemented everywhere, especially underserved communities.
3 thoughts on “Week 6: Taking Action”
The Summer Youth Program sounds super cool! Getting teenagers and young adults involved in the community is so important, and it’s awesome that you get to play such a direct role in that. I can’t wait to hear about the activities you were able to organize!
YES! A big shout out to the youth!! It is them who I notice going out of their way to volunteer and help in anyway possible. My community was hit hard with floods two weeks ago and it is the youth group that is helping residents more than the City and FEMA every could. I am happy that you are able to organize a way for the youth to leave knowing their work does make an impact. I can’t wait to hear more about the interns work in the community.
I really appreciate that you’re going beyond surface level with this summer programs. I feel like “neighborhood beautification” is important, but when there are larger issues to be tackled, it’s important to expose young people who are eager to do change. I’ve noticed that young people are always willing to do the work older generations say “can’t be done”. I’d love to learn more about the programs you’re planning!
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