Dozens of Mulgrave Park youth flooded into City Hall Thursday morning to hand deliver positive messages to the Mayor and his staff.
“These youth are full energy and are very happy to be doing this event. It’s something they’ve been excited about all summer,” DeRico Symonds said, a community outreach worker with Phoenix Youth and Community Centre.
The “Spread the Love” campaign began three years ago by youth at the Phoenix Youth and Community Centre.
They told the staff that they wanted to create something that would help change the perception of their Mulgrave Park community.
WATCH: Dozens of youth from Mulgrave Park head to city hall to ‘Spread the Love’
Many of the youth say often times, the media portrays the place they call home in a negative light.
“The media kind of make us out to be like we aren’t a welcoming community and that we’re kind of gang related but we’re not, we’re nice and welcoming,” Shykia Upshaw-Paris said, a 17-year-old from the area.
Each youth had a bag full of encouraging messages and they eagerly handed them out with smiles grinning from ear to ear.
“I hope it makes people feel positive and if someone’s having a bad day, I hope it makes them smile,” Ashton Lepage, a 13-year-old from the area, said.
Perhaps the highlight for many of the teens was getting to take selfies with the Mayor and explore his office.
“It’s pretty cool! It’s large and bigger than I expected. I’m looking for the ‘secret compartment,'” Lepage said.
They even gifted the Mayor with a ‘Spread the Love’ t-shirt in hopes that when he wears it he’ll be representing the true spirit of Mulgrave Park.
“I hope when he wears it people will see how our community really is,” Lepage said.