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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Flint Global Youth Service Day reflection

GYSD cleanup

By AmeriCorps member Cody Duvernois

We definitely rocked out our Global Youth Service Day project! Being that this was my first large scale project through my AmeriCorps program (Flint Urban Safety Corps), I was really excited to take on the task of project coordinator. A few of my responsibilities were volunteer recruiting, securing supplies through donations, and delegating my fellow Flint Urban Safety Corps members to make the project run smoothly. So, needless to say, I was really excited when we started registration and had a huge line of students from Kettering University, University of Michigan – Flint, and Durant-Tuuri-Mott Elementary show up to help us out. On top of the students we had from these schools, there were multiple community organizations and citizens from all walks of life that came together to make their community a more enjoyable place to live.

Our project was a community cleanup with a dedicated focus on four separate locations within the Stevenson Neighborhood. There were several properties that had illegal dumping on the premises and we decided as a group that we wanted to make a statement and say that this is not what this neighborhood deserved. Throughout the day, we filled two 40-yard dumpsters to the brim with the undeserved blight. While we were out cleaning up, we got a lot of attention from neighborhood residents living around the properties we were addressing! We inspired residents that weren’t even a part of the cleanup; they supplied cold water to volunteers and cleaned up not only their own properties, but some of the abandoned properties surrounding their homes as well. We saw this kind of community involvement at all four of the cleanup sites!

The most rewarding aspect of this project was seeing the direct influence all of our planning had in inspiring the community members to take charge and take back their neighborhood. When I signed up for my program, I wanted to make a direct positive impact on as many people as I could for the length of my service and this project has definitely had that impact on our volunteers, program members, and community members.  I’m really happy with the way things turned out and I look forward to the future projects I’ll have with my program!