In November, more than 120 NYCHA residents from the Bronx were recognized by NYCHA for their efforts to beautify their communities while promoting safety, healthy living, and community pride.
The honored residents were from Betances, Patterson, Moore, Mill Brook, Saint Mary’s Park, and Adams Houses. Throughout 2019, they organized and participated in the Grow Stronger Safety Tour, a campaign that encouraged them to participate in civic engagement events to combat violence. The campaign and recognition event were co-organized by NYCHA’s Resident Engagement Department and Office of Safety and Security.
The Grow Stronger Tour was originally started by members of the South Bronx Youth Leadership Council three years ago as part of their efforts to address safety in their community. NYCHA’s Youth Leadership Councils provide residents ages 14 to 21 with training and mentoring to help them address issues in their communities. Many of the events were beautification projects (i.e., flower planting at developments) but also included public art, film screenings, and performances showcasing the talent of community members.
Isis Garcia, a South Bronx Youth Leadership Council member from Betances Houses, said, “Since we’re doing an anti-violence campaign, beautification in the community is like, if it looks better, people will feel better and people will act better.”
This year, the South Bronx Senior Champions also played a major role in organizing the events. Senior Champions are older adult residents who work with NYCHA and community members to actively engage fellow seniors across the city.
Grow Stronger became an intergenerational campaign, with NYCHA’s youngest and eldest residents helping to enrich the entire South Bronx community. Watch a video about the 2019 Grow Stronger Safety Tour here.