Brighter Futures in the Making
6/1/2010 12:00 AM
Just two months ago, Hope House began hosting “Teen Night” and implementing a new portion of our Shining Stars program, designed especially for youth aged 13-17. They have made us very proud with their accomplishments so far!
In Hope House’s new teen program, youth become community organizers, inspiring activism in our neighborhood that lasts. The first project for our teens was planning a Planting Party and Basura Bash. Over 50 of our neighbors, youth, families, and pairs from Big Brothers, Big Sisters attended this event! More than 150 plants were planted in our community garden, which will be partially donated to the United Southside Food Pantry (USSFP) at the end of the summer.
Teens learned the intricacies of event planning by brainstorming, organizing, advertising, and acting. Youth explored the concept of community gardening by determining how to share the harvest, ultimately deciding on sharing it with their families and the neighborhood by donating some of the produce to the USSFP. They also filmed a commercial
to share on Facebook and Youtube, designed and distributed flyers, and worked hard preparing the garden plot and planting vegetables.
Our teens have a lot to be proud of! They brought a significant number of people out into the neighborhood for a worthy cause, working together and enjoying each other’s company. This is only the beginning of budding activist careers; we can’t wait to see what our Shining Stars will have in store for us over the summer and into the next school year.
Teen programming has provided a place for youth to explore leadership roles and solve problems within their community. Teens discuss violence, gang involvement, media and how to confront these issues in a safe and smart way. These issues are a part of the everyday lives of our youth and are often not addressed in regular academic settings. At Hope House, our Shining Stars are provided the tools to make informed decisions and act as exemplary citizens for our neighborhood.
This summer, we have over 40 youth registered in our summer program, where they will participate in three fieldtrips per week in addition to Friday clubs and ongoing involvement in the community garden. Here, youth have a chance to build their social skills, learning and playing in a variety of group settings with youth of different ages and backgrounds.
If you would like to help our Shining Stars have an exciting and educational summer, please consider donating new art supplies, single serve lunch items, or gift cards to Target and Home Depot. Our program depends on our donors!