Last fall, at our BYI back-to-school guerilla frozen yogurt street party, I met some young skaters who told me they were interested in doing a project at the Kirk Park skate park in Bozeman. A couple weeks later, I saw these same kids again when I visited Cassie Ubaldo's Freshman Strategies class at BHS.
I gave their class my basic BYI rap: "We help young people do projects that help them build skills and benefit their peers..." Then I asked if anybody had questions, which is usually the point where silence ensues and we all just stare at one another awkwardly. But these kids immediately went, "Hey Greg, here's what we want to do...."
... which was to start an all-volunteer, youth-led effort to clean-up the skate park; discourage graffiti, drinking and drug use; and generally turn the park into a more kid-and-family-friendly place to hang out and skate. Which is exactly the kind of thing BYI is all about, especially the youth-led part.
I started working on a weekly basis with the class, helping with organization, planning and development of their idea for a community youth skating competition (May 30).
I also reached out to Bozeman Parks & Recreation and they brought in Bozeman Police and the whole thing got rolling (pardon the pun) with community orgs like Big Sky Youth Empowerment and Montana Conservation Corps, as well as help from local biz like World Boards, A Thousand Arms, and Cactus Records. Not to mention tremendous support from the school district.
Posters, t-shirts and other promo will be hitting in the next few days. Interested skaters can find the registration link through the Parks & Rec program guide. The Freshman Strategies team will also be doing a registration at Bozeman High around the second week of May.
Meantime, you can follow the project through their Facebook page.
If you think that's cool, please remember us and consider making a donation to BYI during the upcoming May 5 Give Big Gallatin Valley fundraising campaign. Your support of our organization makes it possible for us to mentor, inspire, encourage, and teach all kinds of young people and to hook them up with the resources they need to express their vision of community and achieve their highest potential.
And hopefully we'll see you May 30 for the Community Sk8 Comp. Thanks!
Greg Owens, Executive Director Bozeman Youth Initiative
(406) 580-3659 email@example.com