River Wards: Then and Now, Old and New: A Bridesburg student

Al­bert Waskiewicz, who lives on Sal­mon Street.

Al­bert Waskiewicz is com­mit­ted to Brides­burg in per­haps the most prom­in­ent way a 17-year-old stu­dent can be — he’s pres­id­ent of the com­munity ser­vice-fo­cused Key­stone Club of the Brides­burg Boys & Girls Club.

“Brides­burg is very sports-ori­ented, and this is where [kids] come to play bas­ket­ball and base­ball,” he said. “Here, every­one knows every­one.”

Now that the weath­er is get­ting nicer, Waskiewicz said a lot of kids are ven­tur­ing to loc­al parks to play soc­cer and oth­er sports.

It’s a com­munity bond­ing ex­per­i­ence, he said, that is unique to Brides­burg.

“How small we are, I like it,” he said.

Without the Boys & Girls Club, Waskiewicz said, Brides­burg might not be what he called a safe, pos­it­ive place.

“I think it would be tough [without it],” he said. “This is where every­one goes to stay off the streets.”

One thing he said is a prob­lem is kids drink­ing al­co­hol openly in places around the neigh­bor­hood, but that prob­lem isn’t Brides­burg-spe­cif­ic.

Neigh­bors do work, he said, to pro­mote pos­it­ive change, though, by or­gan­iz­ing lots of com­munity cleanups.

Waskiewicz said he’d like to see more in­volve­ment with sports in Brides­burg, like even more sum­mer leagues and in­tra­mur­al teams.

As for Brides­burg’s motto, em­blazoned on flags around the neigh­bor­hood: “Brides­burg: a Fam­ily First Com­munity,” Waskiewicz said the slo­gan holds true.

“Brides­burg is very friendly and open,” he said. “I would def­in­itely stay here.” ••

You can reach at mjamison@bsmphilly.com.

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