Youngstown Lifeguard Academy Ohio Parks and Recreation Association, Ohio Youth Leadership Award for Community Service during COVID-19 Pandemic

Top Quote Although their Lifeguard Training was interrupt in March due to COVID-19. Academy members stayed committed and provided volunteer services to Youngstown Parks and Recreation Department to serve others. End Quote
  • Youngstown-Warren, OH (1888PressRelease) November 17, 2020 - The Youngstown Lifeguard Academy Youth Leaders have been awarded the Outstanding Youth Leadership Award by OPRA Executive Director, Woody Woodward for Community Service for their volunteer services to the Youngstown Parks and Recreation Department. This is believed to be the first time Youngstown has ever won this recognition, which must compete against large cities such as Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo.

    The Youngstown Lifeguard Academy, which is a Youth Workforce Development whose mission is “To increase the number of vulnerable underserved youth and young adults ages 15-24 years, who learn and master the skills to swim while developing personally in Leadership, and Community Service to improve Economic Development, Employment, and Entrepreneurship,” incorporate community service as a means of providing its young people with opportunities to work in varying environments to expose them to different challenges and opportunities as an additional quasi “On the Job” training opportunities to prepare them for real work environments that they will have to use these experiences to think on their feet to be effective, professional and successful. At the same time, they give back $25.43 an hour worth of valued service to their community.

    Members of the Academy became committed to the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department because she came to them and offered them an opportunity but, she also challenged them to be the best. When she needed assistance with getting the word out to the community in regard to her efforts to increase participation for the Eugenia Atkinson Recreation Center. Members of the Academy jumped at the opportunity to assist the Parks Department by going door to door to inform those who the Center serves to become a participant of the upcoming Stakeholders meeting. The Academy spent more than 4 hours going door to door and speaking with Arlington Heights residents to encourage them to come share their views and ideas. The Academy had scheduled March 2020 as their second project to reach out to those same resident as part of the Department follow up meeting but, COVID-19 did not allow for that to happen. COVID 19 also interrupted these young people Lifeguard Training.
    In April, during a planned visit by the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association visit to Youngstown; Captain Bell and Lt. Turner had plan to present Ms. Turnage with an Award themselves because it was clear to them that she was one adult who was committed to providing real opportunities and real support to young people who want to make a positive impact in the community that they live. Due to COVID-19 once again, the officers of the Academy had to pivot and surprised her at City Hall with this recognition in the parking lot. The Academy is planning to:

    • Replace trash cans at the Henry Stambaugh Golf Course next year 2021
    • Conduct Learn to Swim Classes and Water Aerobic for youth and seniors at Northside Pool - 2021
    • Partner with the Department to support the beautification of public land under the management of the Department – 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025

    When we as adults look at a problem from that of service, opportunity, leadership development, and the potential outcome. You deliberately change the outcome of the life of a young person. But, when you are concern about the cost of training; you have defeated yourself and missed an opportunity to address inequalities, hopelessness, motivating the future.

    Mr. Tarpley, who has served as the former National Youth Coordinator for YouthBuild USA was one of the main architect for the organization national leadership network. Later served as an elected official as the first Black man to become a part of the Somerville Board Aldermen where chaired various committees and was later elected to serve as Board Vice-President and then, Board President.

    Mr. Tarpley said, “A young person can become a Candidate. Earn their right to become a Cadet and Officer at age 15. This is not just about becoming a Lifeguard. It is about preparing young people to know their value academically, internally, and externally. Further, to prepare them for 5, 10, 20 and 40 years from now to be successful and able to handle whatever challenge life may send their way. For example, Frank Magnelli, former Parks and Recreation Superintendent promoted me to Pool Manager at age 16. It was not because of my looks. I earned that opportunity to earn grown folks money by showing up to work on time, performing my duties professionally, impressing my boss and he recommended me for that job at age 16. Why cannot these young people do the same thing. They can if we as adults motivate and prepare them for positive leadership roles.”

    Mr. Tarpley said, “Conservatively Speaking $10.00 an hour x 10 Hour workdays x 6 days a week x 48 Lifeguards x 13 weeks = $374,400.00.00, which 2.5% will allow the city to tax as City Income Tax

    In Year 2, using the same numbers $10.00 an hour x 10 Hour workdays x 6 days a week x88 Lifeguards x 13 weeks = $686,400.00, which 2.5% will allow the city to tax as City Income Tax

    It is in this period when the Academy is hoping to have established itself as a resource for entities and businesses in the field of aquatic recreation and we are able to connect our graduates and older Cadets with those who are in need of professional lifeguards for the summer and year round. Cadet may want to attend school or vocational training in same area or are looking to relocate.

    In Year 3 - $10.00 an hour x 10 Hour workdays x 6 days a week x 128 Lifeguards x 13 weeks = $998, 400.00, which 2.5% will allow the city to tax as City Income Tax

    1. Community Service Contribution – The IRS and the state of Ohio value volunteering at $25.43 an hour.
    a. 48 young people will spend an average of 6.5 hours a week as members of the YMCA Academy Leaders’ Club, which is a service club. 5 of those hours will be dedicate to community service learning. Participation or planning. This will last for 8 months for 32 weeks. The time calculated only accounts for the planned service activities and not those that will come about due to request or invitations as the Academy moves forward.

    $25.43 x 5 hours 32 days x 48 = $231, 612.00 per year of planned contribution back to the community through their service at the YMCA, which will benefit the city of Youngstown.

    • Plan an Overnight for teens and youth
    • Taking part in Alcohol and Drug Prevention Course and later have an opportunity to enroll in the Train the Trainer Program
    • Partner with CycWard and hold community Bike Safety Programs
    • Volunteer with the Downtown Kiwanis Club during their Annual Radio Auction
    • Volunteer Kiwanis Club of Liberty during their Annual Bike Safety Program next August 2021\
    • Provide man and woman power to the Youngstown Parks and Recreation Department
    o Lifeguards who become Swim Instructors to host Community Learn to Swim at the city only pool as well as seek permission to do the same at the Y and YSU
    • Community Green Partnership Senior Snow Removal
    • Advocate for additional resources for Youth Development
    b. YLA Put a Kid to Work will seek to assist our Candidates and Cadets to earn money during school breaks to have some form of income until they become Lifeguards and Swim Instructors.”

    He concluded, “The Youngstown Lifeguard Academy maybe “grandiose” to some people in the community. But it is actually a matter of life and death to others who do not share the same opportunities as others in and around the Valley. There are some realities that have made life more challenging for some than others. We do not need to focus on that. We need to deliberately focus on problem solving and that is what the Academy is about. It is building a foundation from brick and steel and not, plywood and sand, which would be alright for some not for me. We need and our young people deserve to have top notch equipment and materials for learning. The second-class prospects are not acceptable.”
    Anyone wanting to support the Youngstown Lifeguard Academy with a financial gift can contact Mr. Tarpley at 330-774-9799 or mail that support to: Youngstown Lifeguard Academy, 1327 Florencedale Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio 44505.

    RE: Youngstown Lifeguard Academy are OPRA Outstanding Youth Leaders
    Date: 11/10/2020
    Left to right: Hon. Kevin A. Tarpley I, Founder and Chair, Captain Luther Bell, Senior Cadet Martez Scott and Lieutenant Joshua Turner

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