A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

The Center for Great Neighborhoods cultivates young leaders like Lily Jones through volunteerism

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series the Center for Great Neighborhoods will roll out this fall to raise awareness for the different ways it works to create positive change in Covington.

This spring, 11-year-old Lily Jones woke up on a Saturday morning in Latonia, gathered her family, and set out to make a difference.

11-year-old Lily Jones was inspired to make a difference through the Center for Great Neighborhoods BLOCK program (provided photos).

The family took on a beautification project together to spruce up a Latonia gateway sign, tearing out overgrown weeds, touching up the sign’s paint, and adding new surrounding plants for the annual Great American Clean-Up.

What inspired Jones and her family to volunteer that day?

In major part, it was her participation in BLOCK (Born Leaders of Covington, Kentucky), where Jones got her start in community service.

BLOCK is The Center’s 12-week after school program for 4th and 5th graders where students learn about their community, gain valuable leadership skills, and develop their social and emotional capacity.

The result? Inspired youth like Jones with a new sense of civic responsibility, and the experience of crafting and completing a service-learning project that benefits the broader community.

When Jones participated in BLOCK, she and her classmates dreamed up and executed projects. That included adding colorful plantings to the landscaping beds in the school entrance and hosting a staff appreciation party to recognize the vital role of cafeteria and janitorial workers.

Like many BLOCK graduates, Jones plans to continue her involvement in the future by applying what she learned in her community and volunteering in future BLOCK programming.

The Center believes kids have so much to add to Covington’s story and it’s important to create a culture of civic-minded youth, who value volunteerism and work together to make Covington a great place to be for all ages.

Volunteers are needed to help lead neighborhood tours, guide students with their service-learning projects, and offer skills, connections, and ideas for their project implementation.

Contact The Center for Great Neighborhoods today to learn more about how to get involved with BLOCK and other youth programs.

Center for Great Neighborhoods

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