ORLANDO, Fla. — Dozens of teenagers from around Orlando spent Saturday morning picking up trash along Orange Blossom Trail.
What You Need To Know
- Teens helped clean-up Orange Blossom Trail Saturday morning as part of the "Loving Our Trail" event
- Organizers, Isui Sopon and Faith Sutton, got the idea after hearing so much negativity surrounding the area
- They hope the event will spark pride in OBT and the community
Organizers for the youth-led clean-up effort called "Loving Our Trail" are hopeful that this clean-up helps to spark more positive change around the community.
“We can’t believe that it’s actually happening,” said Isui Sopon, one of the organizers of the event. "People do community events here and there, cleanup events here and there but we’ve never seen people clean OBT.”
The idea came to organizers Isui Sopon and Faith Sutton after the pair said they got tired of hearing so much negativity surrounding the area. They want Orlando to see OBT as a well-loved and worthy part of the community so they’re taking that first step toward cleaning it up.
“We’re not the only ones who see that this can be a better place. I’m here with my dance team from Bishop Moore, there are other sports teams, just people who care,” said Sutton.
“I am so proud of these young people and for what they’re doing today but also for what they’re going to do tomorrow,” said Rep. Val Demings, (D) U.S. House of Representatives with FL-10.
Congresswoman Val Demings and Orange County Sheriff John Mina along with Sutton’s mom, Commissioner Marya Uribe pitched in to help with the cleanup. Demings said for a lot of these teens, this could be the start of a lifelong drive to improve their communities.
“John Lewis said when you see something that’s not right, not fair, not just, you do something about it. And this is exactly what these young people are doing today,” Demings said.
Sutton and Sopon are hopeful it will spark that same drive in others to take pride in OBT and their community.
“It says a lot that people are willing to rejuvenate and make our community look even better,” Sopon said.
"It could be an inspiration, like you could just be a random person driving down the street and see all these groups of people cleaning up and think, 'Man, this is something I really want to help with'," said Sutton.
The “Loving our Trail” organizers say they’re hopeful that today’s clean-up is just the start of future improvement events.