Between September 2021 and April 2022, nine interns in grades 9-12 completed over 800 hours of community service as part of Ouachita Green and Keep Ouachita Beautiful’s new internship program, Love Where You Live, focused on community improvement through litter abatement and recycling.
The Love Where You Live internship program was created, with support from a Keep Louisiana Beautiful Healthy Communities Grant, to engage high school students living in Ouachita Parish. The requirements established for applicants include passing grades and a teacher recommendation. Interns commit to participating in monthly litter cleanups, one beautification project, and Ouachita Green and Keep Ouachita Beautiful’s main events: Household Hazardous Waste Event, America Recycles Day, Water Sweep, and Love the Boot Week.
“Our program is important because it gives students the opportunity to be educated on a deeper level about recycling, litter abatement, and community involvement,” says Aundi Brown, Executive Director of Ouachita Green. “We strive to teach our students the value and ripple effect of investing their time and effort into their community.”
One of the projects the interns were most proud of was the To the Zoo community improvement project, which involved the removal of 44.6 tons of illegally dumped materials from the corner of Highway 165 South and Ticheli Road.
Two of the interns were awarded $1,000 scholarships through the program for their impressive commitment to serving their community. Chaz McMillan received the Leadership Scholarship sponsored by Malmay & Associates, and Yuri Cobb received the Outstanding Intern of the Year Scholarship sponsored by Drax Biomass.
“We are so proud of Ouachita Green and Keep Ouachita Beautiful for developing this model program,” says Cabell Mouton, Affiliate and Grant Director. “These kids were deeply impacted by their internship experience, and I know they will continue to serve as environmental stewards as they continue on their life journeys.”
Congratulations to the first class of Love Where You Live Interns!