When I received the phone call to meet with the Deputy Director for Field Operation Maintenance for the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers I would simply say, I was worried. I though that maybe the YMCA’s SNUG Violence Prevention Program had overstepped its bounds and we would not be able to do much work there anymore. However, much to my delight, it was a totally different kind of discussion.
“We need to make a positive difference in the lives of these youth,” Juaquin. Padilla, the Deputy Director said. “And I have just the project.” He had seen the passion that Eugene “Bosco” Jackson” and Hanif Walker had for the youth and decided the YMCA was the right organization for the task. He wanted to hire youth that may not have the best reputation to serve as a painting maintenance team to help in the needs of maintaining the huge development known as Schlobohm Housing.
It would not be an easy project and it would have many challenges, including the unexpected death of our beloved “Eugene “Bosco” Jackson, but it was worth it. The young people were incredible. Hanif and Ms. Mia did a great job supervising the team to the end and are really to be commended.
Within weeks, Bosco, Hanif, Ms. Mia (MHACY staff), Juaquin Padilla (MHACY staff), Shawyn Patterson Howard (the YMCA’s President and CEO), and I, put together a plan and the youth began a great experience of eight weeks of work. It was an incredible experience and one that we believe will open great opportunities in the lives of these youth. Enjoy the pictures below, but coming soon will be video interviews with many of them.
Thank you for everyone that help to prove that a man who works is going to be productive in life.