HOST Superhero Creator

BYP Junior has been helping the HOST youth create their own superheroes! The class voted on superpowers, came up with a name, and designed the costume together.

It was such a fun experience, one of the girl involved in making Nora was so disappointed to leave when it was time to go! The BYP Junior youth helped the kids at HOST work with each other, and collaborate on their heroes.

Here are a few of the heroes that came out of the Superhero Creator project:

Superhero: Justice



From the minds of some of our youngest hero-creators comes Justice. She holds the world in her hand, and defends goodness with her laser eyes.



Superhero: Nora



Formed in a classroom where the boys and the girls could not decide on making the same super hero, Nora is a shapeshifting, hyper intelligent super hero with crazy colored hair. Like Justice, she has laser eyes. She protects the innocent with her sidekick dog, Angel.



Superhero: Zekrom



Formed in the same classroom as Nora, from the same list of powers, comes her brother Zekrom. Like his sister, he has never allowed social convention to restrict his hair color. Named after a Pokemon, his eyes glow red, ready to unleash his laser vision on evildoers.



Superhero: Wizard Wolf

Wizard Wolf


Wizard wolf was born different. Where others have to work for their physique, wizard wolf’s creators decided that if they were going to make a super hero, it should look like a superhero.

With his hyper flexibility, and uncanny knowledge of magic and the science, Wizard Wolf is a force to be reckoned with. His costume is currently being designed, but so far, he has some sweet gold fangs.

2015-16 BYP Goal Setting

During every BYP school year term we do “Goal Settings” with every youth from each team. A team leader will pull one youth aside if they aren’t working on homework or participating in discussion group and have a one on one meeting with them.

Each of these meeting take about 10 to 15 minutes in which we discuss their short term goals. Each year the worksheet may vary depending on the team leader that is leading the meetings but we’re working on creating a “Goal Setting” binder that has more consistency to it rather than switching it up every year.

As of now the worksheet that the youth fill out is geared more for high school teens.  It helps them to focus and keep their minds on their  academic, behavioral, and personal goals while still dealing with working, going to school, and other activities.

After they choose a goal for each category the youth brainstorm things they can do or work on to achieve the goals they set. They have 2 weeks to reach these goals, at the end of the first week they meet again and go over their goals as a reminder and talk about the progress they’ve made.

At the end of the 2nd week the same youth and team leader meet and discuss whether or not they reached their goal and why/how they did it. At the end of the school year term we will discuss how they did overall setting/meeting their goals and leave advice for either themselves or future youth.

Media Team Presents: Skittles Selfies



I knew at the outset of this project that it was going to be a massive undertaking.  Consider it:  take a selfie, reduce it down to a pixelated 5-color palette, print it out and recreate it by gluing skittles onto a sheet of card stock.  Pixel by pixel.  Skittle by skittle.  Day after day.  Week after week.

I made sure the youth knew how much work this was going to be, and they voted to do this project regardless.  I want to make that clear!  Only a monster would force someone into performing a task like this without prior consent.  Just look at the smiling faces of Chris and Essence as they work:

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The operating concept is this:  you reduce an image’s resolution by pixelating it.

rasaun A

Viewed up close, it doesn’t look all that much like the person it’s meant to depict.

rasaun B

Observed from a distance, however, and it looks less and less abstract.

The question then becomes where you draw the line.  The larger the pixels, the smaller the final image and the fewer skittles it takes to complete it.  The tradeoff, however, is how far one has to stand in order to tell who the skittle selfie is meant to depict.

The Media Team Youth each made this decision for themselves.  And here they are in progress.



How much longer will this take, you ask?

As long as it has to!

Summer Recap with BYP Jr.


Here’s a look at what was going on with BYP’s mentoring team this summer! We had a lively time and got a lot done during our six-week summer program.


As a tradition, BYP Jr. had a part in putting on two parties this summer at the Avenue Apartments. We teamed up with the new Event Planning team to put on a Game Night and a Luau. We brought food, games, prizes and lots of dancing for our senior friends to enjoy!


The bulk of our work was done at HOST (Heritage Out of School Time). It was every BYP Jr youth’s duty to befriend the kids and provide mentorship and support in the classroom.


Sometimes we brought our own projects, such as putting on a Scavenger Hunt or making a craft. A successful project was Calming Bottles, made by Chawntay’s team. These colorful bottles are designed to relax kids as they shake them and watch the glitter settle.


We also got a little bit of gardening in! Puhala is a garden site that is close to HOST and a great place to take kids for a garden excursion. The kids at HOST planted flowers and strawberries and got to harvest tomatoes and zucchini. BYP Jr also put together and painted a Little Free Library. The Garden Team helped us install it at Puhala! If you are Braddock, stop by and take a book, leave a book!


While the kids at HOST were on a field trip, we planned a fun afternoon event, Chalk the Dock II, inspired by an event from last year. We made the front of the Community Center an appealing kid haven by decorating it with sidewalk chalk, doing face painting, and blowing giant bubbles!


Another event we put on occurred during the last week of program. We invited the youth to bring their siblings to work. BYP Jr. planned the agenda for the siblings, which included lots of games and tours of all of the work sites. Siblings got a sneak peek at what it’s like to work at BYP, seeing the garden sites, Braddock Farms, HOST, the Media cave, Print shop and Braddock Library! The day even included a mini Talent Show!


As a final treat, the Media Team helped us make a music video! You can see us Whip and Nae Nae with our little buddies at HOST:


The Library Archive Team


This summer, the Braddock Carnegie Library is actively engaged in the same activity as virtually every other library world-wide:  playing catch-up.


Our ability to make back-ups of text and images via digitization has only been around for a little over forty years.  Mankind has been writing for more than three-thousand four-hundred years.  That’s a lot of information to bring into the digital age.


 The Braddock Youth Project Library Archive Team is presently doing their part to make a dent in this vast backlog of data.  Led by Michael DiCenzo, six youths spend four days a week scanning old documents and yearbooks, conducting interviews with various Braddock residents, and organizing a ton of old documents into some semblance of order.

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The youth learn several valuable skills in the process of completing these tasks, such as organized research, audio editing, using scanners and conducting interviews.

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In addition to their newly acquired skills, the youth also get the lasting satisfaction of knowing that they played a pivotal role in bringing a library wholly into the 21st century.