National Center for Arts & Technology wrote -
For the 2014 Skoll SE Challenge, the National Center for Arts & Technology (NCAT) has set a goal of raising $30,000 to allow 20 youth—10 from NewBridge Cleveland Center for Arts & Technology (CAT) and 10 from Connecticut Center for Arts & Technology (ConnCAT) (New Haven, Connecticut)—to participate in the Park Journeys Program in 2015.
The Park Journeys experience definitely changed my daughter. Her attitude has changed, she see herself as an empowered woman. In her conversation with others, she talks about her community service, homelessness in New Haven and willingly discusses how the issue is connected to all of us. - Parent of participant from ConnCAT (New Haven, Connecticut)
One of the greatest challenges facing the nation’s public education system is the persistently high number of students who fail to complete high school on time or at all. Several national studies have shown that extra-curricular programs—such as Park Journeys Inc.—produce dramatically improved student outcomes, including helping students make better life decisions. Further, extracurricular activities can help close the existing resource gap by giving students who are economically disadvantaged access to vital tools and opportunities they might not otherwise access. For example, through programs like Park Journeys Inc., students build and test their practical knowledge, travel, and develop a network of like-minded peers and caring adults who serve as mentors, coaches, and future references, giving them the edge they need to succeed.
NCAT, a nonprofit affiliate of Pittsburgh-based Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC), works with cities to adapt and replicate its nationally recognized educational model, which provides life-transforming arts education for youth and career training for adults. Each Center for Arts & Technology (CAT) established by NCAT embodies Manchester Bidwell’s core philosophies, which are: 1) people are assets; 2) environment shapes behavior; and 3) creativity fuels enterprise.
In keeping with the Manchester Bidwell educational philosophy, NCAT’s work with Park Journeys Inc. inspires youth to achieve their personal best and teaches them the value of perseverance and academic achievement. Through the strategic partnership with Park Journeys, NCAT and its network of CATs provide youth from rural and urban areas a transformative experience that broadens perspectives, encourages youth to explore the world, and teaches them to lead their peers in civic engagement.
I am definitely looking forward to the future, because this hike did not just teach us how to climb but also how to collaborate and life skills that will benefit us in the future. - Kelvin, participant from NewBridge Cleveland CAT (Cleveland, OH)
In August 2012, Park Journeys Inc approached MBC to participate in a pilot program, which was funded by Yellowstone Park Foundation. Ten students from MBC were selected for a five day trip to Yellowstone National Park. The activities the students participated in focused on diversity, health and wellness, and the arts—three key elements of the National Park Service’s “Call to Action” report.
In 2013, Park Journeys Inc. decided to build upon that first journey to Yellowstone by creating the Park Journeys Program, a six-month, community-based youth development opportunity offered to NCAT replication sites (or Centers for Arts & Technology) and other youth organizations across the United States. The sole purpose of the Park Journeys Program is to provide a team (or delegation) of youth with new opportunities in real-world settings, where they face challenges and build a network of resources that motivate them to succeed and live up to their potential.
Since its inception Park Journeys Inc. has engaged seven NCAT sites, 76 students, and 12 student ambassadors (returning student who serve as peer leaders). All of the seniors who participated in the Park Journey Program in 2013 are currently attending colleges and universities across the United States.
Ways to Help
Donate - Give to support this vital cause.
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