You could feel the burst of joy, appreciation, and excitement spread throughout the room when First Lady Michelle Obama presented us with one of the 2016 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program (NAHYP) Awards. Many gathered for our live viewing party to celebrate all of the hard work of our staff, students, and community that has made our Youth Development Program (YDP) such a success.
The National Arts and Humanities Youth Award recognizes 12 outstanding programs from across the country. It is the Nation’s highest honor “for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people, particularly those from underserved communities.” As an awardee, we will receive a $10,000 grant as well as “a full year of capacity-building and communications support;” allowing us to further strengthen our mission – to empower and engage individuals and families to improve their lives through high-quality affordable housing, education, and arts programs – by continuing to provide a unique opportunity that prepares young people for their futures.
Our YDP students come to us from communities all over Boston, including the South End, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan with the drive to develop their leadership abilities, confidence, positive relationships, and job skills. We provide these youth participants with a platform to grow by opening high-quality arts & humanities learning experiences to them.