The mentoring programs of I Am Girls Empowerment Inc. and Youth Basketball League (YBL) recently held a joint community cleanup, according to a news release.


The cleanup went from Sixth Avenue and Catalpa Street to 13th Avenue and Blake Street, where participants cleaned both sides of the street.


“The kids’ excitement and readiness to pick up trash was a surprise,” according to the release. “There were several neighbors coming out to thank the children for choosing their street to clean. We started at 10 a.m. and ended at 12 p.m. with lunch. There were approximately 130 bags of trashed collected. We would like to thank 4th Ward Alderman Steven Mays, parents, coaches and donors who made this event a success. The next event will be April 20, 2019, where we’ll host a community Easter egg hunt.”


I Am Girls and YBL have two different programs, but one common goal — serving Pine Bluff youth, Danniesha Murphy, founder of I Am Girls, said.


I Am Girls provides young women with the necessary tools to become “great servants” in their communities, according to the release.


“We promote personal, social and economic development/growth. It truly takes a village to create any change you would like to see. One person or program can’t do it all. So partnering up with YBL was an awesome idea to get this now annual event started.”


YBL founders are Brian Cal and Lucas Armstrong. YBL engages youth through athletic, educational and social development, according to the release.


YBL also helps youth discover that they can be champions, not only on the basketball court, but in life.


“As I reflect back, being involved in the community helped me become active and hands on with the youth basketball league,” Cal said. “This is my passion to give the youth the proper guidance to become great future leaders. All it takes is driven focus and support. We (I Am and YBL) have different programs, but our goal is the same. “