2015 was a huge year for Lents Youth Initiative. With pilot funding from the Bullitt Foundation and in partnership with OPAL Environmental Justice, we completed our first ever Youth Empowerment Series with 25 youth, from which 12 were placed in paid summer internships. As a community-building project, we joined the annual Lents Street Fair. The LYI coordinated waste management and sustainability awareness activities at the Lents Street Fair, which drew an estimated 6,000 neighbors. LYI brewed and sold root beer floats at the Fair (with the help of Pyro Pizza), served in reusable “Lents Recycles” pint glasses designed by the youth. We collaborated with six exceptional PSU Capstone students who contributed 120 hours of service.
Additional funding from CWSP allowed LYI to hire two additional interns and install a native pollinator garden Bioswale at Beyer Court, a ROSE property in the heart of Lents. For this project, LYI partnered with Depave to remove 1260 ft2 of asphalt and sod at a community work party that engaged 10 LYI interns and 21 volunteers.