Youth ReClaim: Braddock

In the fall of 2018, though summer 2019, Grounded implemented a Youth ReClaim PGH program with some very dedicated, talented and intelligent youth from the Braddock Youth Project (BYP).

Through this program, we equip youth with knowledge of their community’s history, its unique connection to vacancy and blight, and how these circumstances came to be. With that knowledge now instilled, we begin challenging the youth to think of what they’d like to see and what resources are available to make it happen like neighborhood initiatives, micro-grants and incentivized tax programs.

We then equip the youth with different techniques to advocate for themselves and the community, tools for asset mapping, guidance on how to find organizations that may be interested in partnering, funding or sponsoring their own neighborhood initiatives while also teaching design skills to create and implement a project.

BYP youth designed a space in collaboration with entrepreneurs from The Hollander Project, a co-working space that houses 8 women and minority businesses. Over the course of several work days, the Hollander entrepreneurs and BYP youth transformed a vacant lot between their building and the BYP youth garden. It is now a community gathering space that will be utilized for events, workshops, and meetings for The Hollander Project, Braddock Youth Project, and the broader Braddock community.

Both The Braddock Youth Project and The Hollander Project have been instrumental in the creative process of recruiting residents, helping design the space, and cultivating a spirit of change inside the neighborhood. Their collective determination and dedication produced an incredible, beautiful space.