Youth Services Initiative
Youth Services Initiative (YSI) is a community-based after school and summer program for youth living in low-income housing. Each year, YSI serves about 150 young people, mostly Latino, whose circumstances would otherwise prevent them from experiencing many of the recreational and educational activities and options their peers enjoy. YSI exposes underserved community members to art, good nutrition, the benefits of academic achievement and higher education, a healthy culture and support system.
During the school year, afternoons include a structured, supportive environment for recreation activities, both at housing sites and recreational facilities. YSI broadens local youth’s horizons, creating community bonds and civic-minded young people who rapidly become contributing adults. YSI also empowers Boulder’s youth to grow and pursue an engaging career path.
For years, YSI has visited the Pottery Lab several times each year for pottery programs. Studio Arts Boulder is partnering with YSI to expand this relationship and integrate YSI kids into our regular youth classes as well as develop on-site programs at low-income housing communities.
The Exciting Programs Adventures and New Dimensions (EXPAND) program helps people with disabilities improve and gain new recreation and leisure skills that enhance participants' overall well being and quality of life. Journeys through EXPAND provides fitness, adventure, and leisure opportunities for adults who have suffered a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) and other similar neurological conditions. These services promote personal challenge, increase self-esteem, and growth in a supportive and safe environment. Journeys allow participants to enjoy success and rebuild confidence with others who share their MTBI experience.
The Pottery Lab provides a class in partnership for the Journeys through EXPAND program every week. Four Lab staff members work with twelve Journeys members to engage each student at their ability level. The adults are all at different stages of recovery - some students are able to throw at the wheel, while others are in the process of improving their fine motor skills. The 2.5 hour classes include both a hand-building and wheel-throwing lesson. The class is not just about art, as it has become a space for building community and support. Many of the students are grappling with their injuries and abilities, and it is a place for them to come together and discuss their challenges and growth. Participants report improvements in their recovery as a result of their participation.
Attention Homes provides youth and young adults (ages 12 - 24) shelter, community-based living, and everything they need to live stable lives.
Studio Art Boulder partners with Attention Homes to provide ceramics classes for their Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) program. The RHY program provides street outreach, day drop-in and overnight emergency shelter services to homeless youth. The Studio Arts Boulder classes are taught at Attention Homes’ RHY facility (The Source). Instruction focuses on hand-building.
Attention Homes’ goals are to create a safe environment for youth to:
- Build behavioral, emotional and career-related pathways for success
- Reunite with their families, and
- Become self-sufficient.