Cincinnati Museum Center Youth Programs celebrates class of 120 students

Cincinnati Museum Center program prepares high school students for future success

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center hosted its annual Awards and Recognition Banquet for its Youth Programs participants Thursday night, wishing 16 graduating seniors well as they begin the next steps of their journeys. The graduating seniors offered passing words of encouragement and wisdom to their friends and 39 incoming Youth Programs members.

Cincinnati Museum Center Youth ProgramCincinnati Museum Center’s Youth Programs began as a youth volunteer program with two students in the Museum of Natural History & Science in 1989 and has since blossomed into a youth development initiative. The program is designed to prepare participants for success in high school, college and beyond. Since the inception of the program, over 1,600 participants have contributed more than 250,000 hours to Museum Center. In the 2015-2016 year, Youth Programs provided valuable mentorship and the unique opportunity to work in all facets of a museum to over 120 youth.

“It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to these graduating seniors who have done so much for Cincinnati Museum Center and have had such an impact on the community,” said Calvin Harper, director of Youth Programs at Cincinnati Museum Center. “As they have learned and grown together, we have also learned so much from them and I’m excited to see them continue toward success that will enrich those around them.”

Youth Programs is designed to enhance the creativity, confidence and success of its members. Academic success is a cornerstone of the program, with 100 percent of participants graduating from high school. The staff empowers participants through workshops, college visits, volunteerism and skill development to seek higher education, which is uncharted territory for many in the program who are first generation college students. An outstanding 99 percent of participants go on to enroll in a 4-year college, with 80 percent receiving scholarships or financial aid.

“The Youth Programs are such a wonderful and unique program that offers area high school students an opportunity to work alongside museum professionals while also engaging the community,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president & CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “Their dedication and the results of the program are truly inspiring and have had a tremendous impact on their futures, which shine brighter than ever.”

Cincinnati Museum Center’s Youth Programs would not be possible without the generosity of the 2015-2016 supporters, including JPMorgan Chase; American Honda Foundation; Best Buy Children’s Foundation; Murray & Agnes Seasongood Good Government Foundation; Ohio Casualty Foundation; Ohio National Financial Services; Stillson Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee; Summertime Kids Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation; The Louise Taft Semple Foundation; Wyler Family Foundation; Enterprise Holdings; and AT&T.

Youth Programs and Cincinnati Museum Center wish the following seniors success as they continue their journeys:
Niaya Bowen, Colerain High School, will be attending Northern Kentucky University.
Emma Cummins, Campbell County High School, will be attending Northern Kentucky University.
Khalil Frazier, Princeton High School, will be attending Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Jacob Gross, the Covington Latin School, plans to attend either Xavier University or Washington University.
Nathan Hilvano, Walnut Hills High School, will be attending the University of Cincinnati.
Patrick Howard, La Salle High School, will be attending the University of Akron.
Donald Hutchinson, Walnut Hills High School, plans to attend the University of Cincinnati, Miami University or Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.
Jordan Jackson, North College Hill School, will be attending the University of Cincinnati.
Kes Kindle, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, will be attending the University of Cincinnati.
Tijuana McCrary, Dater High School, will be attending Tuskegee University.
Chris Wakefield, Glen Este High School, will be attending Scarlet Oaks.

As Union Terminal undergoes a two and a half year full structural restoration, some of the Youth Programs students will be taking their talents to the Cincinnati Art Museum. With the temporary closure of the Museum of Natural History & Science and Cincinnati History Museum as part of the Union Terminal restoration, the Cincinnati Art Museum will provide Youth Programs students more opportunities to continue building interpersonal skills, creativity and confidence through real life experience. Youth Programs students will also have the opportunity to work with a wider range of experts and content.

Students in the program will work at interactive stations within the Cincinnati Art Museum, including the Rosenthal Education Center, assisting with visitor research and working special art museums programs. Youth Programs students will also continue to present Cincinnati Museum Center programs both within Union Terminal in the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and special exhibits gallery, and outside of the building.

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