SILVER SPRING, Md. (ABC7) — It wasn’t long ago that parents in the Silver Spring neighborhood known as Quebec Terrace didn’t feel it was safe for children to play outside. But inside a small community YMCA, young residents are working to improve their neighborhood.
It’s a program called Common Ground, run by the nonprofit Arts on the Block.
The youth are making mosaic-tiled stepping stones that will become part of a rain garden.
Previous projects have included illuminated mosaic address plaques, painted windows, and the largest project, a pair of mosaic staircases leading into the community.
In the process, the young artists learn leadership and teamwork skills, and they gain self-confidence.
“We’re using our own creativity, expressing it,” says 11-year-old Montserrat Esquivel.
Adds 12-year-old Jefferson Umanzor, “It makes me feel good. It makes me feel excited.”
Seventeen-year-old Dee Lam has been a part of Common Ground since eighth grade and now is a teen mentor.
“It’s everybody’s artwork. It’s like part of the neighborhood and I’m just proud about being in the Y,” says Lam.
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