MHP has been offering the opportunity to grow to residents and volunteers of all ages for the last 25 years. Jason Amboo has been one of its most active youth volunteers.
The teenager was the recipient of several awards during 2014 for his leadership and community service through environmental activism. He lives in the Glenville Road cul-de-sac in Silver Spring, where Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP) owns several small apartment buildings and operates a community center. When Jason was 11 years old and playing tag outside with his friends from MHP’s Homework Club, one of them tripped and cut himself on a piece of glass.
“We started talking about it, and all of the trash on the ground made us mad,” recalls Jason.
“It looked bad, it wasn’t safe, and it’s not good for the environment. So I had the idea we should do something about it.”
Jason suggested forming a “green team” and got others to join in. He brought the idea to MHP, which piloted the program in 2011 and fully funded it in 2012. In that year alone, the Glenville Road Green Club collected more than 200 pounds of litter and achieved a 92 percent resident-participation rate for its recycling program. Now, the club organizes a Spring and Fall Cleanup for the cul-de-sac.
In 2013, the Glenville Road Green Club recruited a donor and built a new community garden at the Long Branch Community Center, which produced 20 pounds of produce that year in its two beds. The community garden expanded during 2014 to include two additional beds, and now the Green Club harvests their vegetables and fruit throughout the spring and summer. The students split the food between its members. The extra plants are sold at local farmers markets on Saturdays, and the proceeds are used to help maintain their supplies.
Today, Jason attends Blair High School and remains an active supporter of the Green Club. He recruits new members each spring, and also volunteers after school to help the younger kids at the homework club with math and science, which are his favorite subjects. He also sings in the school choir and dreams of playing college football.
Through MHP’s recommendation, Jason became the youngest recipient of the Dorothy Richardson Resident Leadership Award, a national community service award given by NeighborWorks America. He attended the annual leadership institute in Cincinnati in 2014, and met hundreds of other community leaders.
Given the chance, Jason became a natural leader. With your continued help, MHP can offer these sponsorship opportunities for many more promising students like Jason who simply need a little encouragement to shine.