Common Ground Helps Youth ‘Light the Way Home’ (Photos & Video)

A recent art project in Silver Spring brought one local neighborhood out of the dark and into the light.

MyMCMedia’s Valerie Bonk has the story of how the unveiling of a community art project by Common Ground is helping local youth light the way home.

A crowd gathered under a tent outside of the Carroll Avenue Quebec Terrace Community Center in Silver Spring for one cause – to encourage at risk youth to give back to their neighborhood.

“This is very exciting because when kids learn skills and they have a pride, it’s nice to put it in the context of where they live,” said Carol Trawick, president of the Trawick Foundation, which helped fund the project.

Common Ground, a collaborative program alongside Arts on the Block, Gandhi Brigade, Imagination Stage and YMCA Youth and Family Services, helps around 40 middle school students take charge each year.

Their latest public art project is aimed at cutting down on crime in the area. The students created hand-crafted mosaic address boxes to mark homes on Carroll Avenue in Silver Spring. The new lights were unveiled at a ceremony on April 25.

“If you’re able to motivate a young person in a very positive way, the sky is the limit for them,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.

Mentors and organizers with Common Ground are grateful for the opportunity to educate and inspire local youth.

“It’s very exciting for the community and also for the kids,” said Lucia Mejia a program coordinator for the YMCA. “They can look back years from now and say hey you know I worked on those building plates.”

“When I see these signs it’s going to remind me of something great that I was a part of and that I’m proud to say that I was a part of,” said Evelyn Lozano, a team Mentor at Common Ground.

For those who live in the buildings with the new artwork, the signs bring hope.

“I helped designed these signs and watching the kids put them together really made my heart feel happy because they were working on something that was going to be a part of our community for a long time,” Maria Gomez, a Team Mentor at Common Ground.

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About Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media (MCM).


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