Young Picasso Painting (YPP) is an eco-friendly professional painting company created with the goal of strengthening the underserved communities in which it operates. Blaine Mickens founded YPP to break the cycle of poverty by employing low-wealth individuals, including the formerly incarcerated, and working in low-income communities to enhance the look of blighted buildings. In addition, YPP infuses environmentally sustainable practices into its operations, including using low VOC paints (Volatile organic compounds) and no VOC spackles, thereby minimizing the release of harmful chemicals; using biodegradable paint trays and either recycled or repurposed roller covers; and using non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning solutions.
YPP allocates five percent of net profits to its “Give Back Fund,” which is designated for community outreach efforts, including restoring faith-based organizations, day care centers, and other socially valuable businesses. The company removes graffiti and paints exteriors of abandoned properties to both raise community morale and property values. YPP also offers a summer internship for underserved youth.« Back to full Class of 2011