Rell Dolo Brings Schenectady Community Together to Renovate Playground
Sometimes a community is gifted with a talented teacher who cares about their children. Sometimes communities are gifted with rappers who are also advocates for their communities. Schenectady has been gifted with these two blessings rolled into one man, Tyrell Outlaw. He is the man who teaches the children by day, and in his time off he works to make one community park a better place for everyone to enjoy.
Tyrell Outlaw goes by his rap name Rell Dolo. Dolo started rapping during his high school days at Schenectady High School during their hip-hop program. Since that time, he’s gone into the studio and has released several original songs of his own. He’s also performed around the Capital Region opening for artists like Jadakiss and Styles P.
Prior to his employment with the Schenectady School District, Tyrell Outlaw had been working for several years with at risk-children in the Mount Pleasant Middle School through SUNY Schenectady Liberty Partnerships Program.
His extensive work with children gave Outlaw a clear insight as to what he needed to do for the Community when it was time for him to step up.
One day Mr. Outlaw took one of his sons to a park located on the corner of Landon Terrace and Windsor in Schenectady. What he found was a depressing site that he could not just walk away from. Mr. Outlaw says that the park was in total disrepair. He said it was always dirty and trashy, with both terrible courts and hoops.
Mr. Outlaw said that his first visit to the park sparked something in him that he could not ignore. He says his oldest son, Jaylen, was about six years old when he first tried to play in the park. Mr. Outlaw recalls the incident just like it was yesterday. He said, “He (Jaylen) was playing four square, getting poked in the back with the vines and there was glass everywhere. I’m like, I should just clean this park myself. This is just terrible”.
That’s when it all started, Mr. Outlaw pulled out his broom and started sweeping up the park. From that small gesture grew a larger initiative which is called Jaylen's Park Project. Children from the neighborhood, who liked his music and recognized Dolo from his music videos, approached him in the park and offered to help.
Although the project is not totally complete, the transformation is undeniable.
The community has become involved with community cleanup days where children and parents come out to help keep the park clean as it is being re-designed.
Mr. Outlaw does not want to take all of the credit. He says that he has had volunteers from the SEAT Center, as well as a $62,000 grant from Thriving Neighborhoods Challenging/Schenectady Foundation.
Kudos to Mr. Outlaw for working hard to provide a safe and fun place for children to play.