If your corner or sidewalk has a slight sparkle, you can thank 300 young adults who logged more than 1,000 combined hours in a recent Flint beautification effort.
The Summer Youth Initiative (SYI), for 14- to 19-year-olds who’ve completed TeenQuest, a pre-employment and leadership training program of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, participated in the annual SYI Volunteer Day. As part of the fourth year of the program, youth were deployed to areas along Ohio Avenue and Dort Highway, Dakota and Douglas Avenues, Moore Street near Merrill Elementary, Harrison and 14th Streets, Ballenger Highway and Court Street, and Proctor Street, between Paterson Street and Hamilton Avenue.
“Our annual SYI Volunteer Day teaches students about the importance of investing in their community,” says Rhetta Hunyady, vice president of education and training at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “It also shows them how lending a hand – for even just a few hours – benefits the volunteer. Not only are they making a positive impact, they’re gaining new skills and building their resumes while they’re at it.”
Partnering with the City of Flint has made SYI Volunteer Day the city’s largest cleanup, during which debris is removed from lots and sidewalks, and lawns are mowed.
“I want to thank all the teens and volunteers participating in this year’s Summer Youth Initiative.” says Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. “It’s wonderful to have so many of our young people taking advantage of this great program, learning not only valuable job and leadership skills, but also the importance of giving back to the community. We all want Flint to recover and thrive, and with each us of doing what we can to make the city a better place we will reach that goal.”
About the Summer Youth Initiative and TeenQuest
The Summer Youth Initiative is a program that helps Flint-area teens find paid summer jobs. It’s open to students who’ve completed the TeenQuest afterschool program, which provides pre-employment and leadership training to students ages 14 to 19 to help them succeed in college and the 21st century workplace. Both programs are administered by the Genesee Area Focus Fund, a supporting organization of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, with generous support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. To apply or learn more, visit www.flintandgenesee.org/teenquest.