Summer Recap with BYP Jr.

summer1

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.

senior

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!

host

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.

bottles

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.

DSC_9101

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!

chalk

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!

siblingday

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!

senior1

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:

-Laura

The Library Archive Team

1st

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

DSC_0232

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.

DSC_0242

 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.

DSC_0257 DSC_0246 DSC_0276

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

DSC_0249 DSC_0290

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.

BYP Summer Garden Update

garden_open

These past two weeks have been extremely productive for the Garden Teams at BYP. Check out some of the projects we’ve been working on below!

Flower farm cover

Flower Farm wk 1

The Flower Farm is one of the sites BYP’s gardening team maintains. The garden has lots of plants in it such as brown eyed susan’s, new vintage violet yarrow, lobelia fan scarlet, Dalmatian rose foxglove, purple riding hood. We even have strawberries and cucumbers. Our plan for the flower farm this summer is to turn it into a Wildlife Habitat for many plants and animals. My team members and I had great ideas for this sight such as a bat box and frog pond.
~JaVaughn Robinson

Youth garden cover

Youth garden 2

This week the BYP Garden Team has made substantial amount of progress in all of it’s sites. In particular the Youth Garden located on Braddock Ave has furthered its development since the BYP youth has started to work on it. New things have been done to the garden such as the planting of sunflowers, watermelons, and new herbs as well as other foods. Another project that has been started in the garden is planting a pumpkin patch. BYP will continue to renovate the garden and welcomes all sightseers. 
~Damon Radwanski

Adobe dome cover

Adobe dome 1

At the Adobe Dome the Garden Team did a lot of brick lying. Masonry was taught to the youth and together they began laying bricks for a wall. They are also making straw bale planters by planting seeds in the straw bale. Lots of hard work and teamwork is happening to make Braddock a better place.
~Jawuan Betton

The Start of the BYP Summer Term

     DSC_0222

On Monday, June 29, the Braddock Youth Project Summer Term officially began.  Around 8:30 AM, adolescents aged fourteen through seventeen began walking through the door; an hour later, their numbers swelled to around seventy.   One by one, the youth stopped by the front desk, where Kimmi Ferry and Katie Lutzker assisted them in signing themselves in and filling out name tags.  For most of these kids, this was the first work day of their lives.

DSC_0231

DSC_0232

 

We were also reunited with the BYP Youth from the school year term, now serving as interns; it was a joy to get to see all of them again.  Pictured below are Chris Mullen (wearing sunglasses, seated front left), Essence Yancy (wearing a grey top, seated to the right of Chris), and Chawntay Doss (wearing a pink shirt, standing to the right).

DSC_0237

 

Upon signing in, the youth sat down and began to fill out short surveys in which they were asked to write a word or short phrase to represent their hopes or expectations for the summer.  Their responses informed the first group activity of the day: The Snowball Game.

DSC_0229

 

Jessi Schmid had everyone stand in a circle, crumple up their surveys, and throw them into the middle of the floor.  The youth then proceeded to pick up a random survey and represent its contents.

DSC_0248

 

They were first instructed to gather into groups based on age.  Having done this, they were then instructed to gather into groups based on their level of excitement with regards to the Summer Term.

DSC_0257DSC_0250

 

Pictured above are the youth as they transition to their different groups.

DSC_0258

 

More transitioning.

DSC_0259

The purpose of the activity-specifically, the ‘anonymization’ of the surveys-is to foster an honest representation of said surveys’ contents.  If a certain youth is feeling uncertain about the Summer Term, they’re not very likely to boldly go and stand with the ‘Uncertain’ group due to concern about how they might be perceived by their peer group.  This activity overcomes this complication because everyone is merely representing another person’s opinion.  It’s not ‘personal’, in other words.

The rest of the day was dedicated to trainings.  The youth were informed about payment and led through various workshops intended to instill an understanding of a professional environment, and how one should behave therein.

Lastly, we took their hopes and expectations from the surveys and compiled them into a chart.  The more frequent a response, the larger it appears on the chart.  “Fun” and “Money” were tied for first.photo (40)

 

Speaking personally, it’s a privilege and an honor to be able to play a role in giving adolescents their first professional experience.  All of us-the coordinators and the team leaders-have worked very hard to create a challenging, educational and fun experience for the youth this summer, and we are all very excited to impart our knowledge and skills.

-Brendan Renne

Media Team Coordinator, BYP

The Saints Tour

ST.proflie.pic

Over the past several months, it has been our distinct pleasure to collaborate with Bricolage Production Company and Real/Time Interventions on their upcoming Saints Tour, a mobile theater production in Braddock, North Braddock and Braddock Hills, PA.  BYP Youth have made a series of clay artifacts that play a central role in the performance, as well as screen-printed Saints Signs and Saints Cards for use in the performances.  In addition, BYP will be selling the Saints Cards and Signs at the end of the performances to raise money for future BYP activities.

 
Working with Bricolage and Real/Time Interventions has given our youth the chance to do commissioned creative work, which is very much a dream come true for a Work Readiness program.  It’s also given us the chance to participate in an exciting and unique project that’s going to be an entertaining, thought-provoking experience for all attendees.  We highly encourage you all to attend!

www.bricolagepgh.org

www.realtimeinterventions.org

Here are some photos from the clay making workshop that took place here at BYP a few months back

DSC_8756 DSC_8744 DSC_8746 DSC_8747 DSC_8720 DSC_8726 DSC_8735 DSC_8705 DSC_8713 DSC_8697

-Brendan Renne
Media Team Coordinator,
BYP