Youth Preservation Training Underway at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
Four-week long preservation project will train youth in preservation trades at National Park Service sites across the Washington, DC region
Beginning last week, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew embarked on a preservation training at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, DC. HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience) is a nationwide initiative connecting hundreds of young people to preservation trades by giving them the opportunity to rehabilitate historic places in need.
This project, in partnership with Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) and the National Park Service, will continue into the beginning of May and includes work at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Folger Park, Marshall Hall, Harmony Hall, and Fort Washington Park, where the five-person youth corps had their initial orientation and training.
“The work at the Frederick Douglass home and other sites will provide HOPE Crew members with both introductory training in preservation and insight into historic sites in their community,” said Monica Rhodes, director of the National Trust’s HOPE Crew. “We hope this experience will equip Corps members with critical preservation skills, encourage them to consider further career opportunities in our field, and inspire them to take action on behalf of more cherished historic places in need in our community.”
The corps began work at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site last week, maintaining the home’s cultural landscape and viewshed. Also known as Cedar Hill, this former home of America’s most renowned abolitionist has been a place to find inspiration in Douglass’ legacy for over a century. In 1917, the National Association of Colored Women, launched a national campaign to save the home, thereby inaugurating the Black preservation movement.
“The National Park Service is committed to the protection and preservation of all of its historic places and we are always overjoyed for opportunities to partner with organizations like the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Latin American Youth Center to provide young people with the opportunity to help in that mission” said Superintendent Tara Morrison. “The local youth participating in this year's HOPE Crew will not only learn important career and life skills, but will also be exposed to many of the important stories that happened in their own back yard.”
The corps, Jamari Johnson, Chris Lemus, Diandre Walker, Trevor Ryan, and Herson Melendez, was organized by Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), which works to empower diverse young men and women through multicultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs like HOPE Crew.
"LAYC is excited to support the preservation work of these treasured historic sites,” said Lupi Quinteros-Grady, CEO of Latin American Youth Center. “Through our partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service, our youth will be learning valuable skills while gaining hands-on experience protecting historically significant sites for future generations. By giving our young people opportunities to play an active role in protecting and maintaining historic places like the Frederick Douglass Home, we hope to deepen their own sense of connection to history and help them realize the power they possess to shape the future.”
Following this week’s viewshed restoration, the corps will begin work at Folger Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of DC.
About HOPE Crew
A program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, HOPE Crew trains young people in preservation crafts while helping to protect historic cultural sites on public lands. Named for “Hands-On Preservation Experience,” the program links preservation projects to local youth serving organizations, and volunteer efforts nationwide. Since the start of the program in 2014, HOPE Crew has completed more than 165 projects, trained over 750 young people (including veterans) in preservation trades, performed more than $18 million of preservation work and recruited thousands of volunteers to protect places that are significant to their communities.
About LAYC-Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers
Latin American Youth Center’s mission is to empower a diverse population of youth to achieve a successful transition to adulthood through multi-cultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs that address youths’ social, academic, and career needs. LAYC serves over 5,000 youth and families through youth centers, school-based sites, and public charter schools in the District of Columbia and Maryland’s Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties as the Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers (MMYC).