Concerned Parents of Pueblo (CPP) is a community organization established ten years ago in a garage as two concerned parents pondered over the tragedies that faced Pueblo. Specifically, they focused on the gang violence and the overwhelming amount of graffiti apparent throughout the community. Since the establishment of CPP, the co-founders, Fred Tripp and Ben Ramos, created the “Youth Incentive Program.” This remarkable program has grown by addressing many key issues that face Pueblo’s families.
CPP encouraged families to join together on projects meeting the needs of Pueblo. For example, graffiti is on buildings, signs and home sites around Pueblo. The incentive program encouraged families, local businesses and community members to volunteer throughout the year to remove graffiti. These graffiti removal projects led CPP and the volunteers to network with the local art center to cover graffiti with inspirational murals. In 2001, over 1,500 graffiti sites were removed and 4 mural projects were completed. Second, the Youth Incentive Program established a strong connection between generations.
Many low-income seniors are unable to keep up lawn maintenance. Together, family and community volunteers helped senior citizens clean and rake their yards. In 2001, CPP volunteers cleaned 346 yards while recycling over 5,000 bags of rubble. Third, impoverished sections of town, with a high population of low-income families, were assisted to dispose of their trash, old appliances, tires and other materials. CPP and over 700 volunteers in worked on twelve neighborhood beautification clean-up projects. Fourth, serious issues face the family unit today. CPP assessed those current needs and addresses them through “Youth Issues Workshops.” Seven workshops were held throughout the year with over 900 youth participants and 150 parents. The issues addressed in 2001 were gangs, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse and the importance of education.
Over the past ten years, CPP has assessed the needs of Pueblo’s youth through hardships and tragedies. CPP turned these needs into programs that develop into positive opportunities. As a result, this unique program brought families together to work on civic projects. Other remarkable outcomes of providing the incentive program were the development of leadership skills and families were encouraged to be positive role models. In addition, the program built self-esteem, developed trades and employment skills by providing a realistic work experience through volunteerism. In 2001, the youth participants and families completed over 19,000 hours of volunteer work in the Pueblo community.