How often do you hear of a neighborhood investment fund that’s run by neighborhood youth? That’s the vision for Cleveland’s Buckeye-Larchmere community, where Boler students, faculty, and corporate and community partners are joining to invest in public space, and other social infrastructure improvements that makes sense.

The project gets its jump from a Verizon grant, and the community-building experience of Akron-based partner (Art x Love). Starting with a walkability assessment, Boler students and the ArtXLove team will mentor neighborhood teens as they collect and evaluate proposals for how to improve quality of neighborhood life.

“In any neighborhood, kids have dreams,” says Doan Winkel, director of the Muldoon Center which leads the grant project. “When poverty limits their activities and potential, they are less likely to see their dreams as being achievable. By giving the residents ownership in this process, these projects build the confidence that they can create positive change in their neighborhood together and lead inspired lives.”