“This group of kids will NEVER litter.”

Cheryl Jones has a way of getting straight to the point when it comes to the impact of programs on the youth of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh.  She describes things like overcoming challenges, working with peers, and being active outdoors, but this statement was one that tickled the tummy and fogged the windows.  So simple.  So delightful.  “This group of kids will NEVER litter.”

This message is a measure of success for the First Waves program.  Our goal is to show young people that our waterways are important, and how they can help to protect them.  We take them surfing in river waves, run rapids, swim, kayak but none of this matters if they don’t grasp the importance of cleaning up these areas and sharing their excitement with others.  After cleaning up a disturbing amount of trash alongside Paddle Without Pollution, a stewardship organization, the First Waves participants grasped this concept one garbage bag at a time.

Another measure of success is First Waves Pittsburgh’s completion of a second student-shot film that documents their adventures and work through the 2015 season.  In partnership with the Pittsburgh Filmmakers, all First Waves participants receive an education in the art of filmmaking during the course of the cleanup and whitewater adventures.  Please enjoy the film below.  We encourage you to share this film and our message with your friends through social media!

the 2015 Big Brothers Big Sisters “Partner of the Year.”

A special thanks to the Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation and the Allegheny County Conservation District for their support in the First Waves Pittsburgh project.