Project YouthBuild Continues to Make an Impact at City Centers

Keeping with the tradition of a little springtime tidying, the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) continues a productive partnership with Institute For Workforce Innovation’s Project YouthBuild Americorps (PYB) YouthBuilders to help beautify existing facilities for the enjoyment of the community.

On Tuesday, March 7, a team of eight YouthBuilders helped at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multipurpose (MLK) Center (1028 NE14th St.). The young men and women power-washed the sidewalks and parking lots; removed trash from the exterior of the MLK Center, pool and open fields; and cleared debris with backpack blowers to beautify the landscape, while others raked tirelessly. The group also made needed equipment repairs.

On Monday, March 13, La’Caryla Peoples and Deontea’ Hensley will travel to Washington D.C. to represent PYB and greater Gainesville in the National Conference of Young Leaders along with 100 youth from more than 30 states.

“The AmeriCorps-funded Conference of Young Leaders features workshops on public speaking, post-secondary education, handling change, and positive impacts on their community, among others,” says Peoples.

Images of the work at MLK can be viewed at

In 2009, Institute For Workforce Innovation (IWI) launched Alachua YouthBuild AmeriCorps in Gainesville through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The project’s objective is to improve the lives of young people within the local community. PRCA is proud to foster this partnership with PYB to help share the talents of young citizens through exhibiting the impact YouthBuild has on each student and the community. The volunteer service project was coordinated by LaShundra Coley’Hale, interim volunteer program coordinator and Jonathan Leslie, executive director for IWI.