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Third Ward cleanup assisted by College of Technology

Third Ward

UH College of Technology collaborated with local and national organizations for the Third Ward community cleanup this weekend. | Lisa El-Amin/The Cougar

Keep America Beautiful in collaboration with UH College of Technology, Jack Yates High School, the NFL and Houston Society for Change held a Third Ward Community cleanup this past weekend.

Houston is one of the 11 cities selected by the LA Rams and Keep America Beautiful to be a part of the driving initiative for change. The cleanup occurred in various locations within Third Ward while honoring George Floyd, who was a member of the community and a Jack Yates alumni.

“We are honored to have the opportunity because Third Ward, which is a historical community here in this great city,  has been selected to be a part of this inaugural initiative,” said Houston Society for Change chair Carl Davis. “What it does is it helps the community build pride among themselves and this cleanup will consist of partners from local organizations in the community who are coming together as one village for the beautification of this historical community.”  

The event began at Jack Yates High School’s campus where over 200 volunteers, ranging from students and alumni of Third Ward schools to Houston samaritans, registered to the designated cleanup zones at 7:30 a.m. and were welcomed with breakfast, vests and goody bags to show appreciation.

The zones apart of the initiative were Shape Community Center, Holman Street, Change Happens, Texas Southern University, Jack Yates High School, Trinity East Methodist Church, Project Row Houses, Washington Terrace and Blackshear Elementary School. 

The goal for each zone was to pick up any litter, reorganize, groundskeeping and become educated on the drive for change along the way. 

At Blackshear Elementary, volunteers not only worked hard in the garden but also witnessed the unveiling of a Citizen Patrol sign placed near the school. The city of Houston Police Department is the sponsor for the concept in hopes of higher crime prevention in the community.

“I usually love to do this kind of work because you get to meet other members of the community and make an impact,” said supply chain and logistic technology junior Daviela Tacon. “I got to talk to people that know about gardening and for me the good intentions that you put into it when gardening goes out on a deeper level and makes everything special.”

Once the duration of the cleanup ended, organizers encouraged the volunteers to attend the second half of the event where a panel of speakers shared their gratitude and gave recognition to one another.

The Principal of Jack Yates High School Tiffany Guillory was awarded a $5,000 check from members of Keep America Beautiful to go towards the seating area of the school in support and appreciation for the Third Ward community.

“We know that there is nothing we can do of significance alone, it takes all of us working together,” said Change Happens chief executive offiicer Helen Stagg. “This community believes in a vision that inspires and keeps us going to make it a better place to be.”

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