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Words from our Paradise at Parkside Youth Institute Students



If you spent some time in the courtyard this summer you may have seen Andre and the teens of the Paradise Youth Institute. Whether it was giving us a poetry performance with Lamont Carey, coming back from nature walks, or helping out Paradise neighbors, the PYI program was full of life and positive energy. This article is a collection of quotes from the students of the Paradise Youth Institute to let the community know about their summer experience. The students spent five weeks as part of a robust curriculum lead by Mr. Andre Yancey and lead counselor, Siziwe Anniki. The sixth week culminated in tours the Smithsonian Institute museums. This year, the Paradise Youth Institute included workers from Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment program. This was great because it allowed our kids from the community to participate in the program and receive a stipend for learning about themselves, culture, and the arts. According to the Director, Andre Yancy, “Paradise Youth Institute's goal for the Summer 2018 session was to introduce teens to the concepts of self-evaluation and self-assessment as tools for improving social relationships, enhancing academic performance, and expanding career opportunities” Below are the words from our youth about their experience this summer…


My name is Aniya Bryant I liked the summer youth program of paradise because it made me learn more about myself how I can be what I want I can always express my feelings in a lot of ways the nature walks taught me so much things I didn’t know about and why I need it to be my own person in life. -Aniya Bryant 

“I learned that life isn’t easy when it comes to working with other people you don’t know, also don’t let nobody disrespect your intelligence even when working’’ -Tyra Hight 

My learning experience was fun, I learned how to be an honest person and be open about my religion, I seen lots of nature around the community -Isaiah Bryant I learned in my experience in Paradise to express myself through words, to express myself spiritually through meditation and to express my African culture through song dance and food.” -Ethan Lane-Blake

“I learned many new things that I wasn’t aware of. I’ve made new friends and learned about different cultures.” -Donyai Mcdonald-Bey 

“My experience with this program was great, it reminded me of going to summer camp back when I was younger, it taught me a lot about responsibility and maturity, I’ll never forget the people I met and will cherish the time I spent.” -Quaryshon Pittman (Q) 

"My experience with the program made me feel aware of what goes on the world. There were fun times there were real times where the things we talked about were series. I appreciate the staff members for being supportive." -Bobbie Azzure Hollins 

"My experience with the program taught me so much especially expressing ourselves through creative writing acting and etc. I’ve built relationships as a team here and to always strive to be my best and nothing less no matter how hard life gets." -Nyasa Moore 

"I learned right along with the students and loved cultivating new experiences with the SYEP and Paradise Park community." -Siziwe Anniki



2018 PYI Summer Review by Andre Yancy

PYI Photo and Video Album by Andre Yancy

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