Operation Clean Slate began in 1993 as a solution to the multi-million dollar graffiti vandalism issue. Founder, Michael Howard, went to directly to the source of the problem—the youth— to understand why they were doing damage to their own neighborhoods. Their answers revealed that they were looking for attention, recognition, and an outlet for their creativity.
Michael, an Educator and a Humanitarian, set about formulating a solution to this issue, developing a program that involves youth in hands-on activities, helping them to channel their talents and improve their communities. Operation Clean Slate engages young people in the creation of brightly colored murals that beautify school campuses and communities.
May 2014, at Phoenix High School in Venice Beach, CA, Michael and his team of students tackled the important issue of safe driving; they painted a beautiful mural with the lifesaving message, “Stay alive. Don’t text and drive.” The concept is simple and worthy, empowering young people to take part in seeking solutions to the issues that most affect them.
Watch the making of the mural: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZt7wVa-Rus
Michael reports that it was one of the more logistically difficult projects he’s worked on due to the height and the stairway, but “The students at Phoenix High School were very enjoyable to work with. Seeing them overcome their fears of going way up the ladder was inspiring. “ He adds, “You could see that the students enjoyed contributing to this meaningful project and worked very well together. This mural will continue to impact the school and the community with its important message for many years to come. Remember, like the mural says … Stay Alive. Don’t text and Drive!”
For more information about Operation Clean Slate, check out www.OperationCleanSlate.com
For ideas of how you can get involved this summer in traffic-safety-related community service, go to www.ImpactTeenDrivers.org/contact, and we can bring you into the fold!