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From early July to late August DNDA hosted the annual Summer Youth Program at High Point and NewHolly. SYP is a DNDA neighborhood-based project that provide underserved youth access to various summer activities inaccessible to families residing in underserved communities. Designed by Yeggy Michael, DNDA’s Arts Program Director, the program provides youth access to over 15 art, recreational, and nature-based activities that include (but are not limited to) rock-climbing, painting, cooking, team soccer, and cinematography.

The program has grown tremendously in just one year. Last summer we provided programming for over 600 youth participants with great success. We were fortunate to see first-hand youth accomplish major feats of drive and creativity. These include the first-ever High Point vs. NewHolly Community Soccer Tournament, youth-driven music production as part of Our Voices 6-part music curriculum, and the installment of art murals designed and crafted by NewHolly youth artists.

Our work this year set out to ensure youth continue to enjoy access to the same number of varying activities as year past. Over 15 activities were provided each week at nearby parks, community centers, and recreational spaces. The support of parents has been instrumental to brining in new faces into the program. Alongside continuing with past activities, DNDA introduced new types of programming into the summer curriculum: Every Friday DNDA coordinated with Seattle Department of Transportation to close off a section of 31st Ave SW and SW Morgan St. to organize the program’s first-ever “Play Street.” Each Friday brought over 100 youth and family members for street art, summer BBQ’s, biking, and childhood street games. Furthermore, NewHolly boys and girls competed in an exhibition match against a youth team under Companion Athletics – Seattle. Most of the youth involved, the soccer program was their first time participating in team practices and learning the game from a prominent coach in the community. The August 29 match culminated 10 weeks of hard work as youth had an opportunity to wear official team jerseys, lace-up their boots, and proudly represent their neighborhood in an official exhibition match against a competitive local club team.

To celebrate youth, family, and community, DNDA is hosting a Summer Youth Program Celebration on Thursday, September 13th, from 4:00 p.m – 6:00 p.m., at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. The event is an opportunity for youth, families, community members, and various organizations involved in the success of the program to share their experiences and receive the recognition they deserve. We invite you to join us in this celebration!

In Community,
Intale Shuba, DNDA AmeriCorps Vista

If questions, please email Intale Shuba.