HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The ‘Making a Splash’ teenage beach party is happening Wednesday at Buckroe Beach until 8 p.m.
The Hampton Youth and Young Adult Opportunities office will celebrate about 115 students in the summer youth employment program.
“They will walk away from this with real life skills that they’ll be able to use both now and later,” said Hugo Morrison, youth and young adult opportunities seniors’ family services coordinator.
The beach party is part of the Hopeful Hampton initiative to curb crime in the city.
About 70 young adults under 25 worked with Hampton Parks and Recreation as junior counselors. Hampton Parks and Rec partnered with the Hampton Youth and Young Adult Opportunities office to make the beach party a success.
“We know that Buckroe Beach had some challenges with our youth,” said Nicole Dennis, Hampton Parks and Rec community center manager. “Where there was a negative connotations out there. We’re not going to bring some structure and positivity to this beach because we have so much to offer. If this is where our students want to be, then we want to be here with them. Today is all about them.”
This comes as new Police Chief Jimmie Wideman reports 18 homicides in the first half of this year.
“When we do this work and we have the opportunity to prevent crime or prevent a young person from going down that wrong road,” Morrison said, “it does become discouraging, but it’s also motivating. Motivating us to do more, be more, try more. To make sure that our city is safe, that we keep our young people safe and that we wrap around additional layers of support with youth and families to help them heal, rebuild and thrive.”
Youth and Young Adult Opportunities & Hampton Parks & Rec want residents to take this survey.
In the fall, students and adults under 25 can sign up for the Hopeful Hampton divergent program and the Hopeful Hampton ambassadors program.