Austin 2.0 by Ari Bates, Lazaria Brewer, Denim Cole, D'aja Dudley, Tyshawn Harris, Thelonious Johnson, Kenyatta Jordan, Keeontaye Mack, Stephanie Nelson, Jamesha Sumler, and Tiya Walls

Grade: 9th - 11th

View the complete Austin 2.0 submission here.

People in Austin want to stop the violence, kids should have a place to chill at or have fun, and teens need a place to relax and just vibe out.

We got started by looking into personal experiences, our neighborhoods, what we saw already working in our society, and the needs/wants of underserved community youth. We talked with other young people in Austin and came up with our needs statement. We as a group researched lots within our neighborhoods that were once occupied but are now vacant and which someone who lives there can buy for a $1. We created a safe space on a jamboard where people could share ideas. Then we narrowed it down (or tried to haha) to what was most impactful to us!

The "idea boards" are a visual representation of our design teams' dreams and ideal life. Our ideas get teens off the street, and also they are having fun not thinking about the outside world for real. Plus it gives them a opportunity to meet new people to hang out with. In step of trying to resolve this issue, we are coming together in bettering our community.

We as the next generation need to be the door to a brighter community, not just for the community, but for the children that come after us. There’s honestly so much a ball and a hoop, swings, a drive in movie or an art wall can do to fix our community. It keeps people connected instead of separated and forms relationships that maybe wouldn't have become without them.

Project Team: Ari Bates (9th Grade, Disney II Magnet High School), Lazaria Brewer (10th Grade, Legal Prep Charter Academy), Denim Cole (9th Grade, DRW College Prep), D'aja Dudley (10th Grade, Alraby High School), Tyshawn Harris (10th Grade, Michele Clark High School), Thelonious Johnson (11th Grade, Noble Academy), Kenyatta Jordan (9th Grade, DRW College Prep), Keeontaye Mack (10th Grade, Legal Prep Charter Academy), Stephanie Nelson (10th Grade, Lincoln Park High School), Jamesha Sumler (10th Grade, Alraby High School), and Tiya Walls (11th Grade, Amundsen Hight School)