YouthBuild is Seeking Volunteers for its Central Avenue Beautification Project

Summer Beach

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Hello all! Welcome to more Building Futures YouthBuild/AmeriCorps news.

As the seasons change, we are embarking on the summer months. For most people this brings vivid images of summer fun, water activities, barbecues and quality family time. Most people are grasping at the opportunities that summer brings, like vacations and memories we will never forget.

Although vacations are great, a lot of our days will be found among our daily hectic lives of juggling work, school, children’s schedules and the vast amount of bills that never seem to stop popping up. As we progress in our lives by graduating high school, attending college, starting or continuing careers, we become consumed by everything going on.

We often think that our struggles are the worst struggles, and, if they are not, they are pretty close. We take for granted that, even though we may not be where we want to be, we are not where we could possibly be. With all that being said, I will ask you to take a moment to envision what It would be like if you didn’t have your job? What If you lacked an education? What if you were not equipped with the skills, opportunities and pathways you have had to make your life what it is today? How would your summer look?

As of May 16 2016, the Building Futures program began an orientation for 15 new YouthBuild/AmeriCorps members who have made the commitment to bettering themselves and their communities this summer. They have started the journey of a newly implemented structure of the YouthBuild program which will take them on a yearlong intensive GED and Job skills training regimen.

This summer they will enjoy the cool air conditioning at the newly remodeled Scott Bibb center in the morning but by lunch time things will drastically change. They will be moving outside for a good cause to apply there contextualized job skills training to add to the Building Futures Central Avenue Beautification Project.

Youthbuild Central Avenue Beautification Project Kickoff

YouthBuild Director Sabrina Davis speaks to students and volunteers at the Youthbuild Central Avenue Beautification Project Kickoff.

The Central Avenue Beautification Project is a scope of work developed by Building Futures YouthBuild to identify the repair and beautification needs with the property owners and to help them meet those needs. At this time, the projected scope of work for most properties along Central Avenue will involve landscaping, structural repair, and painting or cleaning. Our expectation is that this will be an exciting partnership with the residents along Central Avenue and a benefit for all.

Students and mentors

Students and mentors paint and fix a fence at the circle of Central Ave.

We will be starting at Central Circle and ending at a vacant lot on East 4th street where we plan to help build a pocket park. The pocket park will feature raised garden beds and sitting areas as well as a community library box. Our work will effectively touch 60 homes at an estimated value of $30,000 dollars and will result in a much needed facelift for the street, and, if successful, lead to other projects of this type in the Alton area.

YouthBuild students and volunteers

YouthBuild students and volunteers rehab a garage on Central Ave.

So before you start planning your summer vacations and worrying about work, remember that there is a group of students that are doing whatever it takes to better their communities. They are looking for volunteers to help with this endeavor and hope to make a lasting impact for their fellow neighbors.

YouthBuild students and mentors

YouthBuild students and mentors repair a porch.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact the Building Futures YouthBuild/AmeriCorps Program, so we can help guide you to a great place where you can spend some of your summer days. It’s an opportunity to serve where there is a need!

Until the next time Signing off!

Pat Mays

YouthBuild Coordinator

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King.


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