La Paz Chattanooga will be kicking off a new program: Southeast Youth Corps (SYC), Chattanooga’s only youth conservation corps on Oct. 11.
The youth corps project will seek to engage the Latino youth of greater Chattanooga, with an overarching aspiration of involving youth from all under-served communities. Modeled after the former Civilian Conservation Corps, La Paz’s youth corps is two-pronged in its programming and will focus on job-training skills, environmental education, recreation and youth employment opportunities.
Brenna Kenney, La Paz’s Americorps VISTA, said, “Today, almost seven million young people between the ages of 16 and 25 are out-of-school and out-of-work, with Tennessee ranking tenth in national youth unemployment statistics. As a result, Southeast Youth Corps aims to engage local under-served youth in employment, education and recreational opportunities, that seek to enhance job-training skills, alleviate youth unemployment and educate Chattanooga’s future land stewards.”
This coming fall, Southeast Youth Corps, will begin operation of its after-school mountain bike program. As a soon-to-be chapter of Trips for Kids, the mountain bike program will serve youth ages 13 to 15, in weekly trail rides and monthly community service projects. Students who commit to the program will receive thorough education on fundamental bike maintenance techniques, learn trail safety and etiquette, and participate in a wide variety of conservation and community enrichment projects. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will earn their own new or gently used bike.
Southeast Youth Corps is currently planning the 2013 summer youth corps season, which will offer paid employment for youths aged 16 to 18. The summer youth corps will engage local teens in conservation projects such as trail construction and maintenance, habitat restoration, invasive species removal and stream restoration. Work will be completed on a variety of local and regional public lands.
To kick off the Southeast Youth Corps program, La Paz will be hosting a screening of the film Reveal the Path at the Crash Pad on Main St. Reveal the Path, presented by Salsa, is “a genre-defying adventure film that contemplates what it means to live an inspired life using the bicycle as a mechanism to explore, dream and discover.”
Light refreshments will be provided and beer will be available for purchase from the Crash Pad. All proceeds from the film screening will go directly to the mountain bike program. Tickets are $10 at the door.