NEWBURYPORT — Newburyport Youth Services has announced that the Newburyport Youth Council has received a donation from the Institution for Savings. This grant was developed and written by youth leader Mariah Newman, age 16.
Newman’s hard work earned the youth leadership group $2,000 to establish Open Studio time and materials at the Kelley School Youth Center. She and her co-leader, Isa Miginnis, work as youth leaders in the Youth Services office. Their positions are to lead and support the work of more than 30 members of the Newburyport Youth Council.
Newburyport Youth Services staff have been teaching young people about grant writing since 2007. Teen leaders are encouraged to write their own grants and are given feedback from staff members.
The Youth Council works to address issues, identify needs and offer special events and activities to the youth of the city. The Youth Council uses youth survey data and peer feedback to identify areas to work in. Based on the 2012 Youth Asset Survey, many of the council members became interested in addressing new opportunities for creative expressions.
Last year, the group began hosting monthly Open Mic nights at the Youth Center, which are also planned throughout this year.
This year’s focus turned to Open Studio time for young people. After speaking with their peers, they felt that the high school Art Club was great for older teens, but that an open art space for middle school youth from the Nock, River Valley Charter School, Immaculate Conception and Inn Street schools was needed.
With the hiring of local artist and art teacher Lee Gordon as youth coordinator this fall, the group was excited to move forward. Information about the Open Studio space will be announced at the beginning of February.
For more information, contact Andrea Egmont at 978-465-4434.