A group of Trumbull County students is trying to improve their neighborhood. These high schoolers are tackling everything from the opioid epidemic to blight — and they’re even finding the money for their projects themselves.
The Junior Organizers is led by high school students who have grown up seeing the problems in Trumbull County firsthand. They want to use their own experiences to help change young students’ lives.
“When you understand your power and that you are valuable, you can truly change things and change the world,” said Miles Jay, a community organizer with Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership.
Jay is in charge of the Junior Organizers.
“We live in Warren, Ohio,” Letavyen Powell said. “So it’s drugs, it’s murder, it’s all kinds of things going around right now.”
“I, personally, stay around a lot of this blight and broken homes,” Cameren King said. “It’s an eyesore we need to get rid of in the community.”
The organizers interact with those their own age, but they also work with kids as young as kindergartners.
“Our generation is pretty messed up, but if we can change their generation and give them a new reflection on life, I’m all for it,” Powell said.
Each week, they discuss the issues facing the community. This week, they dealt with expression through poetry. Last week, they talked about anger management.
“When we were little, we didn’t have groups like this so the exposure of being able to go talk to somebody and explain all your problems, I think it helps a lot,” Devante Wright said.
“When I come to help with the kids, I forget about all my problems at home because when I get here, the kids are my main priority,” Ashley Cobb said.
They’re also involved in the community, attending local town meetings.
“That’s our whole philosophy — to change the world,” Jay said.
If these kids weren’t already impressive enough, they also secured the funding themselves. They wrote their own grant that helps pay for several of their projects.