Tuesday, July 31, 2007


What's up world!!! This is Shay logging in for the last time at the work house. I am originally from South Memphis, Tennessee. I now live in the East Memphis area, but this summer I worked in a neighborhood that I was unfamiliar with. Majority of my fellow employees were from the Messick-Buntyn neighborhood which made me feel uncomfortable because I had no prior knowledge of this community that I was placed to work in. However, I am happy to say that this experience has changed my perspective of how I interpret what others say because this summer I have learned more about a neighborhood that those around me target as problematic.

Will I use the skills that I have learned later in life? Of course. I mean I enjoyed the cool technology that we used throughout the summer, and when I attend college if I need to incorporate some of the skills that I learned this summer then I will. Also, I received insight on power points which I enjoy doing, and I am aware that my senior year will be filled with power points (thanks Mr. Andrew, Patience, and Mr. Charlie for the tips). Mapping just might be in my future.

PLANNING for the future...

This summer has been a big one. One for learning new things. One for making a difference. One for change. I've enjoyed my summer work with this program and I will be taking back so many of the skills I've gained and improved. I came into this program not knowing for sure whether or not I'd enjoy city planning, and I now see the changes in myself and in my opinion towards communities.
I've always known about deadlines and waking up on time, but this job forced me to do it. If I said I was going to type something I had to, and I had to make sure it was of good quality because this was important. I've learned to be dependable and to be responsible for my actions and my assignments. I'll always remember the people i worked with and that it only takes a few people to make a difference. I can't wait to begin this school year with a new outlook on my community, this city, and my life. I feel so blessed to have had this experience.


In Retrospect......

This summer was like something I've never experienced before. I learned so much in so little times. Not to mention, the great team I worked with. My favorite person out of the whole group would have to be Skyler. She was such a unpredictable person. She was very cool to work with, and she has such a beautiful voice and she always so joyous and such a spirit lifter. I'm not going to say my least favorite person because that would be kind of mean. LOL! And our supervisors Mr. Andrew Trippel, Mr. Charlie Santo, and Mrs. Patience Jarrett-Beck were MARVELOUS! They were so fun to be with everyday!! They taught us so much. The information I've learned this summer is something that I will value and cherish forever. But ovreall this summer has been great.We used the ArcPad software with the GPS hand held. ArcPad is software for mobile GIS and field mapping applications using handheld and mobile devices.These things were the size of a calculator!! We learned things in a week that some college students don’t learn in a 3-6 months. It was such a learning experience to work in this field this summer. We learned some new terminology that city planners use on a daily basis. I think I speak on behalf of all my co-workers when I say that this was a learning and fun-filled summer.

Will i use the skills that i learned in the future.

Will I use the skills that I learned in the future, yes I think I will. I didn't know that what we were doing took college students a semester to learn and we learned it in a few weeks. I might even want to go to college and pursue a degree in city planning. This was a fun experience, it had its boring times but overall it was fun (especially when I got paid). I hope every one else feels like this about the conclusion of the Y.N.M.I program.

I learned about different agencies and groups. One particular group that I thought was really good was P.A.C.A (police and citizens alliance), they were basically retired men who painted over graffiti where ever they seen it. I also didn't know that code enforcement had that much authority. I found out that it is illegal to evict people and put their furniture outside. Well this was my last blog goodbye.

Friday, July 20, 2007

What We Did This Week?

Monday- We put all the problem properties, that we surveyed Friday, on ArcMap.

Tuesday- We interviewed people at Davis Community Center to see what they think about Davis Park and their neighborhood.

Wednesday- We got together and put our presentation together for our Neighborhood Meeting on July 31st.

Thursday- We had to be at the Blue Crush weekly meeting at 9:00 at Airways Substation and we learned about all the targeted crimes that are going on the city of Memphis. The t.v. and movies doesn't lie about police loving donuts and coffee. Then, we split up into two groups, one group went to Brentwood Park and the other group went to Peabody Park to take park surveys. Then we had a presentation for the Humes' Students and Memphis Heritage came gave a presentation.

Friday- Today we going to take surveys of Marquette Park and Aurbon Park and we going to create maps of Brentwood Park, Marquette Park, and Aurbon Park.

This week I learned not to judge a community by what the televisions say because what they say about Orange Mound isn't true and when we surveyed the people in the community they are saying they don't see as many problems in their community as what I thought there would be. There isn't that much in the community going by what all the neighbors in the neighborhood saying. So, stopping judging different communities by what you heard and judge by what you know about the communities. By gathering data, we learned to know the community more and learned not to judge the community.

Tiresome Thursday!!

WOW!! Was Thursday a day or what???!! Now, normally we go in for work at 11 am. HOWEVER, on Thursday we got went in at 8:00!! We had such a BUSY day!! Our first visit was to the Blue C.R.U.S.H. weekly meeting. There we learned about the latest crimes in our area. They biggest thing was the copper thefts. It is AMAZING how expensive it is to repair damages when idiots steal copper. It was stunning to hear of how many teenagers that are committing crimes. Can you believe that teenagers outnumbered adults? OMG!! And I REFUSE to not inform you of the food they had at the meeting. MAN!! I LOVE food!! They had all kinds of donuts, salads, chicken bites,orange juice, grape juice, water, and coffee. That wasn't the best part of the day though. When we left there, we went to the University of Memphis for a meeting with Memphis Heritage's June West. She was very enthused about telling us about the history of Memphis. She showed us a lot of historic buildings that were torn down and rebuilt, some that were flat out demolished, and some that are yet and still standing. Now that I know how some buildings downtown used to look, I'll look at them differently. It seems like the traditional buildings looked better that the more modern architecture. It doesn't seem like a lot, but BOY was it a tiring DAY!!!


Let's do a quick review. On Friday 13, 2007 the Youth Neighborhood Mapping Initiative team went out on a scavenger hunt for problem properties in the Messick-Buntyn community. In my last blog, I mentioned how we used the GPS handheld to distribute Arc Map for the purpose of gathering data on these problem properties. Also, I stated how there weren't as many problem properties as I thought there would be, but to my surprise that was untrue. I could only speak for the area that I scouted, but when we all brought our information together I was disappointed.

So I propose the question, "when did they stop caring?" The "they" that I am referring to in the previous sentence are the residents of the Messick-Buntyn area. 79 out of the 907 properties of the Messick-Buntyn area were problem properties in our perspective. With that 79 out of 907, that means that .08% of the area is a liability to the enhancement of the community. A liability is nothing more than a hindrance to a healthy, livable community, yet with the looks of these numbers a healthy, livable community isn't a necessity anymore to the residents.

Let me tell you all something. When you want something done you have to do it yourself. You can't depend on this person, that person, this group of people, or that group of people. Look where it has gotten you "nowhere". All you need is a plan to turn a liability into an asset, and that isn't hard. Clean up day here and clean up day there, that is a start. We as youth can't tackle this problem alone. We can only bring to the light what you all are blinded by. So, if you want to live in an area of liabilities then you aren't the community I thought you were. You must come together to uplift your community because if you don't I pose another question, "WHO WILL?!"