JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – The words “it takes a village” are painted in green on the street in front of Diane Washington’s home.

“We’re bringing the village to life in everything that we are doing with our youth. We are going to build that village,” said Executive Director of Young People of Purpose, Diane Washington.

Her organization is set up in the gardens that surround her home. It’s part of an educational tool to give kids a place where they can get their hands dirty, take classes, give back, and in the process grow as a community.

“Like when we were growing up everybody knew each other, and you know we were responsible for one another, and I just want to kind of build that same kind of you know closeness to the community and the people,” said Washington.

A positive environment is something that neighbors like Alex Curling say is needed right now.

“Give young people things to do and show them that life is not only here in this block. Life is more. They can search for more and try to be greater instead of staying thinking they don’t have a future,” said Curling.

Young leaders in Jackson like Jacob Inosencio say seeing Washington pour into her community is an inspiration.

“It’s so important to have leaders in the community who have been doing it for a very long time who people look up to and who they know they can continue to come back to and get resources from and expertise from and to have this sanctuary wherever the garden is. Gardens can be sanctuaries for people,” said Executive Director of Grow Jackson, Jacob Inosencio.

Washington hopes that with every flower and every vegetable, this garden will be its own seed for this neighborhood.

“I see progress. I see it looks good, but we got such a long way to go you know with the help of our people that help us, supporters and all of our collaborators. We are going to build a great community.

For ways to get involved there is a link below.

YPOP Explorers-Young People of Purpose | Facebook