PORTSMOUTH — On Saturday, April 24, in collaboration with Urban Minority Alcohol and Drug Abuse Outreach Program, (UMADAOP) from Cincinnati, Ohio, along with PATH Integrated Health Services, Time Out for Me, INC, Portsmouth Unity Project, and the 14th Street Community Center, approximately 100 youth and adults combined will come together to update and repair the Peace Park.
Wings of Hope has been working with youth ages 15-20 and ages 8-12 with leadership development and how to give back to their community and run a youth led project. The youth have been working very diligently planning to host the youth group UMADAOP for the weekend and activities throughout Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), a youth-led initiative designed to beautify the Peace Park.
Recently WOH youth participated in a Youth Leadership Conference in Columbus, OH. ServeOhio, of Governor DeWine’s office awarded WOH with a $2,000.00 grant to complete this project on GYSD. 10-year-old, Judah Malone, with the help of her youth director, Maria Battle has been studying how to plan a GYSD project and with the help of Sharon Davis, Board President of WOH, wrote a grant to the Hershey Heartwarming Project and was awarded $500.00 for the project through Youth Service America (YSA). The young people join millions of others around the globe who are celebrating Global Youth Service Day during the weekend of April 23-25.
Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) celebrates and mobilizes the millions of young people who improve their communities through service. GYSD is celebrated each April in more than 100 countries with young people working together to address the world’s most critical issues and help their communities thrive.
“Our country is witnessing a divisiveness not seen in generations,” said Steven A. Culbertson, CEO and president of YSA (Youth Service America), the leader of GYSD. “At YSA, we understand that youth service levels the playing field, providing productive spaces where young people can come together for the common good, and be contributors not spectators. We need youth in Portsmouth and Cincinnati, Ohio to be leaders and problem solvers today, not just the leaders of a distant tomorrow.”
According to Maxine Malone, CEO of Wings of Hope and Director of the 14th Street Community Center, “involving our youth in civic engagement and altruistic behaviors, can only show them that when they put forth the effort, they will achieve great outcomes. Giving them the opportunity to use their critical thinking skills when planning a service project can help them in other aspects of life. Service projects can allow them to use their everyday skills, like problem solving. They act as great role models for the younger youth and they show the community that they want to be changemakers and leaders and contribute to the success of their communities. It can create a ripple effect. It takes a village”.
On Friday afternoon and evening, WOH and UMADAOP youth will participate in ice breakers to become acclimated to each other. The youth will work on getting the clothing and food separated from their clothing and food drive and for people to pick up on Saturday who are in need. If anyone would like to donate clothing or food, the items can be dropped off to the 14th Street Community Center. Items can be left for Kymaree Carter or Alberto Poxes, two of WOH Youth Leaders. Gennifer Davis and friends of Columbus, Ohio, will be back in Portsmouth for another 6ft. of Dancing in the Street.
On Saturday, April 24, local youth will meet the youth from UMADAOP, and collaborate on how they can help each other in their communities. Substance abuse is a major problem in both cities. We hope they can feed off each other’s ideas, brainstorming together, to help our youth make healthy life decisions that will guide them through life and become an integral part of their community. UMADAOP will be facilitating a workshop and introducing the WOH to PhotoVoice.
PhotoVoice works to build a world in which everybody has the opportunity to represent themselves and tell their own story. It delivers tailor-made participatory photography, digital storytelling and self-advocacy projects for socially excluded groups. PhotoVoice’s award winning approach brings together arts, media, development, campaigning, and social change to deliver projects that enable voice, build skills, deliver advocacy and work towards sustainable change.
In 2006, on National Youth Service Day, our community came together and created the Peace Park. Fast forward, 15 years and the Peace Park can use lots of work. On Saturday, the youth will come together with some adults in the community to upgrade the Peace Park. Some of the flowers and shrubs have been there for a very long time and need to be refreshed. The youth will be planting flowers and shrubs to attract butterflies and Humming Birds, adding top soil and spreading mulch. Older youth will be mentoring the younger youth.
The younger youth have been raising caterpillars into butterflies, and at the end of the day, the youth will release the butterflies. We hope to attract them to the Peace Park so that when folks come to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Peace Park, they can also watch the Hummingbirds and butterflies flickering around. The youth want the Peace Park to be a place where young and old can come to take in all of the beauty, meditate or just have a peaceful, relaxing day. There will be a co-ed basketball game with Will Robinson commentating beginning at 4:00 pm, a clothing and food drive held in front of the community center, and a movie to watch.
Celebrating 33 years of youth changing the world, Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is the largest youth service and civic action event in the world and the only one that celebrates and creates opportunities for all youth ages 5-25, communities, and our democracy to thrive by working together for the common good.
Learn more and browse GYSD activities around the world on the GYSD Map at www.GYSD.org. Connect on Facebook at www.facebook.com/youthserviceamerica and on Twitter @YouthService and #GYSD20.