The Saints Tour


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!

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,

Last Day for School Term at BYP!



On Thursday, May 7, the Braddock Youth Project 2015 School Year Program came to a close.  Like many endings, it was a tad bittersweet;  although many of our youth will be back for the Summer Program, several of them are moving on.  Inaam Salik is going to school outside of Philadelphia, and Deisha Wiley and Keith Brown Jr. will begin working at Kennywood.  We’re very happy for all three of them; they were valued members of BYP and they will be missed.

We celebrated the last day of program by displaying various projects the Media Team and the Mentoring Team have worked on throughout these past months in the main space of the community center.


This is a Visual Voices exercise from back in February.  Both BYP and staff participated.


“Stained Plass” (Plastic + Glass) created by members of the Girls’ Club down at HOST.


BYP Youth Deisha Wiley and Americorps Intern Chawntay Doss, with the “Home Lost “quilt from Laura Ramie’s service project hanging in the background.


“What I Like About Me” flowers, also from the BYP Girls’ Club.


A selection of projects from the Media Team.  (Top Row L-R) Three Braddock Post Cards and the Nested Heads project, (Bottom Row L-R) Super-Imposed Pictures


(Top Row, L-R) Hundred Dollar Bills project, (Bottom Row, L-R) more Super-Imposed shots, with the “Ghost Fight” Light Painting exercise in the middle.


A selection of “Saints Cards” from our collaboration with the Bricolage Production Company and Real/Time Interventions.

We also did some grilling on the final day of program….



The day ended with all of us sitting and eating together and bidding one another farewell.

DSC_0005 DSC_0008 DSC_0032 DSC_0038

Until July!

Mrs. Renne’s Delicious Snacks at BYP

This school year at BYP, the Renne family has contributed a lot to our program! We want to give special thanks to Joyce Renne for sharing her wonderful cooking and baking with us. Every week she contributed the most delectable homemade meals, desserts and snack platters. In this post we will share just a few of her stand-out food contributions.
Pancakes were a recurring favorite of the youth at BYP, and a staple during Maple Syrup season. Kept warm in a large slowcooker, and always served with Pennsylvania maple syrup and butter… Breakfast for snack is always welcome.
Mrs. Renne delighted us with seasonal specialties, such as this decadent Trifle for St. Patrick’s Day. This was a highly praised treat, wowing the youth with its layers of pudding, whipped cream, mint chocolate and Oreos. Other holiday treats included Groundhog Day Chocolate Bundt Cake (complete with a groundhog in the middle of the cake) and Fudgey Raspberry brownies for Valentine’s Day.
Along with an assortment of desserts (such as face-sized Chocolate chip cookies), Mrs. Renne made us the most filling comfort food, such as Lasagna with Garlic Bread and Macaroni and Cheese.
Towards the end of program, we were treated to the richest Oreo Cheesecake. Another favorite (not pictured), was homemade Poptarts.
Here’s a final thank you to Mrs. Renne was keeping the youth and staff happy and well-fed through the winter and spring. We can never thank her enough for the time and care she took to donate her cooking to us!


All About BYP Girl’s Club

This spring, BYP Jr. just finished a program for girls called BYP Girl’s Club. It was a series of six workshops for the girls at HOST (Heritage Out of School Time). Eleven girls participated, ages 8-14. The BYP youth attended as peer mentors for the younger girls. We had a wonderful time… here are some highlights from the sessions!
For the first session, we entered into the topic of self-esteem and self-confidence. We made paper flowers that explored the traits that we like about ourselves. We also did a planting project, which involved learning how to make origami seed planting pots out of newspaper squares. We planted zucchini, okra, and green beans. When the sprout they will be transplanted into a garden next to HOST!
Our second session involved thinking about inner beauty versus outer beauty ideals. We had a special guest join us, spokesmodel Jess Chernovet. She gave a presentation on the modeling industry and how we can foster inner beauty instead of focusing on outer beauty. We did an exercise in which we sorted the things we notice when we look in a mirror. To remind us of positive thoughts about ourselves, we made charms collaged with magazine clippings on recycled plastic lids.
The third session was all about food. To celebrate food and make new friends, we played a game that involved guessing what food was posted on your back, and then finding your food match. For example, one girl would find out that she was macaroni and she would have to find a girl who was cheese. After the game, we engaged in a “Battle of the Smoothies” cooking demonstration. We made two smoothies: Power Gold and Angel’s Favorite Strawberry Banana. We voted on our favorite-the group was fairly split in half on which was the best. After that, we made some cucumber-cherry tomato sandwiches.
For the fourth session we focused on feeling healthy, both emotionally and physically. We played some games about emotions: an exercise called “Up and Down,” in which we explored the feelings we encounter in daily life and supported one another, as well as Emotion Detective, in which it pays to be a reader of other’s emotions. To practice exercise to promote emotional health, we did a session of yoga. Maggie White visited and lead us in an awesome yoga session. We learned a little about India, and even picked up some Sanskrit!
Our fifth session revolved around creative expression and the arts. Our main project involved creating a recycled stain glass window panel. Each girl designed individual rectangles, repurposed from plastic salad containers. The project involved outlining our designs with marker and then painting the other side. Once glued together, all of the designs made a lovely window hanging! After painting, we also got a crash course in how to make a mini zine from one sheet of paper!
Our last session was about fostering leadership and community. Most of the session involved a public speaking exercise that got the girls super excited. This was their prompt: If you were suddenly crowned Queen of the World, what five laws would you make everyone follow? The girls wrote their responses on index cards. Then, they had the opportunity to stand behind a podium and declare their laws, and then answer questions posed by the group. After the speech making, we played a game in which we found commonalities with one another and made a web with yarn. This was an excellent way to end the spring sessions, because each girl cut a piece of yarn and tied it onto another girl’s wrist while giving her a compliment.

Thank you to the following for making BYP Girl’s Club possible: Junior League, New Voices Pittsburgh, Jessica Schmid, Flavia Bleahu, Michele Blazina, Dr. Lisa Hinkleman, Gisele Fetterman, and Maria Cruz. Special thanks to the four young women who acted as peer mentors: Chawntay, Brandy, Angel and Deisha. Thank you also for our special guests: Jess Chernovet, Maggie White, Jenn Stover, and Alicia Luke. I also appreciate the added support of fellow BYP Staff: OnTae Smith, Brendan Renne, Evelyn Greene and Katya McCoy. And of course, thank you to all of the young ladies who participated!


Summer Application Intake Sessions

BYP will be holding two day-long intake sessions, where youth and families can turn in their application and documentation at the Nyia Page Community Center versus going to the intake centers listed on the application for summer youth employment.

These dates and times are:
Tuesday, 4/21 and Tuesday, 4/28. 10 AM to 8 PM.
Nyia Page Community Center

Families will need to show up with the following paperwork in order to complete their application that day:

  • Birth Certificate of Youth
  • Social Security Card of Youth
  • Proof of Address (dated within the last 6 months): Utility bill, Lease, Parent ID, Report Card or Other School Record
  • Proof of Income: Most recent pay stub, Proof of SNAP, SSI Information, Etc.

Parents can show up and do everything without their child, but the child will need to stop in after-school to sign the application.

If families cannot attend one of these sessions, they can still turn in the application to any of the centers listed on the first page of the application packet found here:

If you have questions, please call Jessica Schmid at 412-918-0079 or email at