The Braddock Youth Project is composed of various, interrelated projects that make up our community development program. Each project fosters the development of specific skills, from interviewing techniques to seed starting, while work skills excellence training is stressed throughout. Youth learn important workplace skills while applying their creativity to meaningful projects and exploring topics that are important to them and the community of Braddock.
Youth work in conjunction with the Braddock Community Screen Print Shop, developed by Transformazium and located inside the Braddock Carnegie Library, learning how to be entrepreneurs through art.
BYP, Jr. is a mentoring program, in which the high school-aged BYP youth develop programming and provide homework help for younger youth. In 2008, BYP youth created this portion of the program after recognizing a need for mentors for the youngest of Braddock’s residents.
BYP youth learn to identify community assets and community needs. They then develop projects to help address these recognized needs using the available assets. Going one step further, they work to implement their projects in conjunction with other entities in the Braddock area.
Youth learn video production skills to create videos on topics important to them and relevant to Braddock. Youth plan, shoot, and edit all of the videos. In the past, videos have focused on the following: healthy habits, drug & alcohol prevention, violence in communities, teen pregnancy, and environmental conservation.
BYP youth have been gardening since the program’s inception in the summer of 2006. Youth plant and maintain the Braddock Community Garden, the Washington Avenue Flower Farm, and the Braddock Avenue Pumpkin Patch. All three of these sites were converted, by BYP youth, from vacant lots to blooming gardens.
Grow Pittsburgh’s Braddock Farms
A select group of BYP youth spend each summer working with Grow Pittsburgh at their urban farm located in Braddock. Youth learn the ins and outs of organic farming, take weekly food-related field trips, learn cooking skills, and help run the weekly Braddock Farm Stand.
In the spring of 2012 BYP youth teamed up with the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) to collect air samples and measure pollutants from diesel emissions along Braddock Avenue. The BYP was also approached to partner with the PITT School of Public Health to complete a Pilot Air Quality Study.
Green Architecture Workshop
In this workshop, BYP youth made their mark on Braddock’s first green roof, located atop the Ohringer building at the corner of Braddock Avenue and 7th Street. BYP youth designed and built benches and a living wall and learned about green architecture and techniques to increase energy efficiency.