‘It’s my home, and I didn’t want to see it all broken up,’ students help clean up after Cleveland protests

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Students from Cleveland’s east side helped clean up damage after downtown riots over the weekend.

Bringing brooms and pans, a small group of Wade Park School students headed downtown Sunday morning on a mission to help.

Businesses throughout downtown had windows smashed, were looted and were damaged after protests turned violent Saturday.

“It’s my home, and I didn’t want to see it all broken up,” said Mkayla Rowell, an eighth-grade student at Wade Park.

She’s among about 50 students in the school’s student ambassador program, which focuses on empowerment, academics and service.

“I love Cleveland, and this is great city,” said eighth grader Da’Yon Coehn. “I don’t feel that people should mess up Cleveland.”

Wade Park Principal Dr. Lee Buddy, Jr. said recent events have provided a teachable moment.

“We’ve had several conversations with our scholars around everything that’s going on and ways that they can be proactive,” Buddy said.

Several students who took part in the cleanup effort said they were surprised by the extent of the damage.

“A lot of people were just breaking things they saw to take out their anger, but it wasn’t for justice,” Cohen said.

Buddy said students in Wade Park’s student ambassador program not only take part in service locally, they’ve also traveled to cities including Washington D.C. and Atlanta to empower students elsewhere.

“We stand behind our city, we love our city,” Buddy said. “We continue to look for different ways to give back and to really just show our students proactive ways to be involved to help their community move forward.”

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