Throughout the summer (through the generous contribution of many of you), the YEP’s have been employed as paid summer interns. Each YEP chose the project they wished to invest in, determining the skills they would learn, and how they would give back to their community.
Kimi went in expecting to find some good wood, maybe some useful cabinets, possibly a piece or two of original trim, but what Kimi found blew her mind. “We have to save it!" Kimi said in awe as she wondered around this pristine example of a 1920’s craftsman's house. “It was stunning, to say the least.”
A few decades earlier the southeast corner of Terrace and Isabella had 7 homes on it, rentals and family houses, but years of neglect, white flight, and disinvestment left the homes empty abandoned and decaying. Then one day the city decided to take them all down, and there was nothing. Grass and weeds started to grow up, the trees began to fall down, and Tom was left wondering “What if?! What if we took over the lot?” Tom would often mow the lawn and pick up trash and do whatever he could to keep it as tidy as possible, but on his own couldn't get much done.
Internships are hugely important in any students’ life. They set the foundation for future careers, enhancing soft skills such as time management and professional rapport, as well as work ethic. Internships help to build confidence and experience while learning new trades and skills, and Colleges place huge importance on internships when reviewing applications, giving YEP’s an extra push in a competitive market.
Send our YEP’s on College Tour - Research shows that regardless of gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, youth who take education trips and college tours have 59% better grades, 95% high graduation rates from high school, 63% higher college graduation rates and greater income 12% higher annually.
When our board and staff attempt to identify the reason why Community enCompass exists, we end up with phrases like “Neighborhood Transformation,” and “SHALOM in the City.” Lofty dreams for a rag-tag team of people who are often stumbling towards good. The year-end process of digging through data always makes me wonder..... how will we know once we’ve arrived? How will we know when our neighborhoods have been transformed and we taste SHALOM?
Monday, Sep 24th saw the accomplishment of Community enCompass’s 7th Annual Taste & See, a progressive dinner and tour through Muskegon's core city neighborhoods. Taste & See is both a fundraiser and an opportunity to showcase the great work happening in the core city neighborhoods and the best the culinary talent downtown Muskegon has to offer.
Dozens of neighborhood teenagers spent their summers doing internships through the Youth Empowerment Project. The PAID internships created an opportunity of high school students to gain experience in the fields of youth work, agriculture, construction, and gardening, building interpersonal skills and developing their resumes
Nina has bounced from house to house for over a decade, taking the initiative and engaged the services provided by almost every social service organization in the City---food assistance, substance abuse programs, parenting classes. She’s rented a place before, but the rent was higher than what she could afford—sometimes 70% of her total income, and she always ended up evicted.