Students from the Camp Shelby Youth Challenge Academy in Hattiesburg helped out in Diamondhead Thursday. The students have teamed up with the Keep Diamondhead Beautiful Committee to assist them in sprucing up the city. It's a partnership all involved say benefits everyone.
It's sometimes a dirty job, but students from the Youth Challenge Academy say they don't mind getting grubby to help a young city shine.
"Just the point of me helping people, I enjoy it," said Youth Challenge student Dnijee Robinson.
Fourteen students from the Academy spent the day pruning trees and shrubs around City Hall. They were also given the task of adding a fresh layer of mulch around trees planted near the gateway to the city, the I-10 Interchange.
"It's good to serve your community," said student Seth Bertran.
This is the third group of students from the Youth Challenge Program to lend Diamondhead a helping hand. The fruits of a previous group's labor have started to blossom.
The Keep Diamondhead Beautiful Committee says landscaping goals for the city would not be as far along without the students' help.
"It wouldn't be done, very frankly. Our goal and our charge from the city is do the most you can do to improve the aesthetics of Diamondhead, but don't spend any money. And that's what we've done. All the work on the interchange, that would have cost $20,000-$30,000 and it didn't cost the city anything," explained Paul Montjoy, Chairman of the Keep Diamondhead Beautiful Committee.
For the students, volunteering in Diamondhead will go toward helping them to complete the six month youth challenge program.
Robinson, said, "We have to have, I think, 50 hours of community service."
Beautification and Academy leaders are calling it a win-win.
"We appreciate all of your hard work; you did a good job. Thank you," said one beautification committee member.
The students do volunteer work for a number of communities across the state. The Academy will send another group of students to Diamondhead later this year.
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