A Community Takes Pride in Cleaning Up

Getting up early on Saturday isn't easy when you're still in high school. Lee senior Oto Ukpong admits, "I am giving up a lot of my Saturday to come here and do this. But it's worth it. It's worth it, not just for the hours, but it's worth it to give back."

Oto and young adults like her climbed out of bed early to make a difference Saturday at Griffith Park and the Texas College Neighborhood. They cleaned, raked, scraped, painted, and generally just set a good example. If teens see me waking up at nine o clock in the morning coming out here," she says, "Then they're gonna want to do it too. They're not gonna want to be lazy and stay at home. If more teens come out and do it, then more people are gonna want to come out here and do it. It's kind of like a domino effect."

Almost a hundred and fifty people showed up, giving their time and weekend to clean up the neighborhood. City Councilman Derrick Choice said, "It really speaks a lot of taking pride back in this community, and that's what this effort is all about."

Lee senior Marlana Hawkins says, "I do live over here, and this is one of our parks and it does need to be kept up. I'm glad I could help with that."

Although most of these young adults missed sleep to come out, they took something else home in return, satisfaction. "You just look at it," Oto says, "and say this is what I did, I did my job."