Students in LatinX youth program help clean up Flint

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - What’s in a leader?

That is a question around a dozen or so Flint kids discuss every day as part of their summer youth program at the LatinX Community Center.

For some, it’s setting an example by cleaning up garbage or maybe picking weeds. For others, it’s creating a vision or setting direction towards a common goal. Either way, it always requires action.

The 10 kids have a mission to make the city they live in better than when they found it.

“I like it. I like the work that we do. I like that we’re helping the community. I mean it needs a lot of help,” said Evelyn Cano, who is in her third year with the LatinX Technology and Community Center’s Youth Leadership Academy.

The academy is results driven. Teens spend a couple hours of their day learning and discussing what it means to be a leader, what community means to them and then they apply those discussions through action.

“We’re out in the community pulling weeds, picking up trash, doing community beautification. That’s usually what we do,” Cano said.

On Monday, the teens were working underneath an entrance ramp to I-475 in Flint, which definitely needed some TLC. They’re showing pride, appreciation and responsibility for their community -- and their hard work has not gone unnoticed.

“There are community members that drive by and they see us doing this work, and it’s nothing for them to just roll down their window and tell us that we’re doing a good job,” said site leader Josh Bryant.

One of the academy’s bigger upcoming projects will involve painting some of the concrete columns underneath overpasses in Flint that are covered with graffiti. The teens are looking for volunteers.

Copyright 2021 WJRT. All rights reserved.