On October 31st the Nyia Page Community Center was transformed into the spookiest place in Braddock! Throughout the night more than 200 Braddock trick-or-treaters visited to strut their stuff and get some candy! The Braddock youth (and some brave parents!) came dressed in diverse costumes with all families enjoying the conversation and mingling with their fellow Braddock residents. The BYP Youth were particularly energetic and enthusiastic about the Halloween Party getting prepared and setting up the Community Center the day before. Braddock Redux sponsored the evening’s festivities.
The Media Team and T-Shirt Team are participating in a screen printing course at the Braddock Carnegie Library. The 6-week class, titled REPRESENT will use research, visual, and linguistic examples to explore themes of self-perception, self-representation, historical representation, and neighborhood representation.
D’Ondre Kelly of the Media Team says that working in the print making studio, “makes me feel motivated and consider printmaking as part of my career.” In their most recent project the youth created prints using words that they felt represent their personalities.
In addition to exploring themes of representation, the youth are mastering the screen printing process, which involves pushing ink through a woven mesh screen onto a surface like paper. They will also use their screen printing skills toward creating t-shirts for sale by BYP.
On October 9th, Members of BYP went to the air quality lab at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health as part of a project focusing on air quality in Braddock and Clairton. The project aims to determine air quality based on the concentrations of pollutants in tree leaves. A specific species of tree is being used to collect samples, acer platanoides, or the Norway Maple. This project is being led by PhD students Sara Gillooly and Leah Cambal, with the oversight of Dr. Kyra Shields, Assistant Professor of Public Health Practice and Dr. Jill Kriesky, Senior Program Coordinator at the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities.
BYP youth have been involved in this project since early September, collecting leaves which will eventually be analyzed for pollutants linked to bad air quality, especially particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers in diameter, or PM 2.5. It is roughly 1/7 as wide as a single strand of hair, and because of this PM 2.5 is able to penetrate our skin and bloodstream very easily. The EPA has found PM 2.5 to pose a significant health risk that can cause respiratory problems, asthma, and cardiovascular problems such as heart attack. Sampling in Clairton is being done in partnership with the All Mothers Are Blessed Program.
Once the research results come in, BYP youth will be presenting the project at a community meeting on December 4th at the Nyia Page Community Center. More details to follow.
Our first day of the school-year program has started! On October 9th the youth were asked to flesh out some of their expectations for the upcoming year. Below are some common themes that were in each of their responses in some form or another:
Connecting with others
These common themes and the responses below, taken directly from the youth, accentuate what BYP strives to achieve day in and day out:
“[Continue to have] a positive presence in the community”
“Exceed the good group of members we previously had”
“Expect it to be fun and educational at the same time”
“Doing what I am supposed to do”
“I expect to [earn] respect”
“Having great adventures, trying and learning new things”
Staff members agree that helping the youth make decisions about their future is one of the most rewarding aspects of our work. The youth will be the ones to continue the revitalization of 15104 and we will do all that we can to aid in their effort. We are all looking forward to making this year the best one yet and (hopefully) getting to go sled riding!
This past Saturday, we prepared the Rankin Bridge Flower Site for the upcoming winter months. BYP would like to offer special thanks to the hard-working volunteers who helped up clean up the site: Amber Lutsko, Shannon Fink, Alyssa Crawford, and Julia Baker. You guys were a huge help!