It is with great honor that Caldera announces that we are one of 12 creative youth development organizations to receive a 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program (NAHYP) Award from First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House Award Ceremony on November 17, 2015.
Caldera is the first organization in Oregon to ever receive this award. The 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nation’s highest honor for creative youth programs, recognizing the country’s best programs as well as highlighting the positive role that arts and humanities play in youth academic achievement, graduation rates and college enrollment. The awardees—chosen from a pool of more than 285 nominations and 50 finalists from 50 states—were also recognized for improving literacy, language abilities, communication, performance skills, and cultural awareness. Caldera is the first non-profit in Oregon to receive this prestigious award.
High school senior Alena Nore, age 18, of Sisters, Oregon, visited the White House today to receive an award from First Lady Michelle Obama. Alena attended a special White House ceremony as a youth representative of Caldera, an Oregon non-profit organization being honored for its excellence in mentoring youth through the arts and humanities.
“The chance to represent my peers in accepting this award from the First Lady of the United States in the White House is an experience I’ll never forget,” said Caldera student Alena Nore. “My experience with Caldera has been life-changing. It’s exciting to see that programs like this are recognized and valued, because I know there are many more young people who need the kind of mentoring I benefitted from.”
In addition to the national recognition bestowed by the prestigious award, Caldera will also receive $10,000 to support its programming and build the long-term sustainability of the organization.
“This award inspires all of us at Caldera—youth, staff, board, volunteers, supporters—to reach for new heights in our work. We are in this work for the long term, and we are excited to learn about and from the other awardees,” said Caldera Executive Director Tricia Snell, who joined Alena Nore to receive the award at the White House. “We are so proud of this recognition, not only for how it reflects on Caldera youth and all the folks who have supported Caldera in the past, but for what it portends for our long-term ability to mentor underserved youth through the arts. We also hope that the award will shine a light on the amazing things young people can achieve through the arts, through humanities, through caring adult mentoring and through immersion in nature. Providing this to every child is an investment not only in those individual young people, but in our entire society.”
First presented in 1998, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). The awards are presented annually in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Oregon Governor Kate Brown expressed her enthusiastic support for Caldera: “By engaging and inspiring young people, Caldera is giving them not just the vision but the skills to build a new and better life for themselves, for their families, and for our community. These young people are learning how to use creative thinking to work as a team, to solve problems and to express themselves constructively. These are exactly the kinds of skills we want them to have to be able to succeed in school, in work and in life.”
Rachel Goslins, Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, emphasizes that the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards represent the nation’s highest honor for after-school arts and humanities programs. The award recognizes and supports outstanding programs that lay new pathways to creativity, expression, and achievement. Such programs excite and engage a range of students, cultivating imagination, collaboration, discipline, and academic success, with demonstrable results. “You can’t help but be moved by these kids, who show us the transformative power of the arts and humanities,” said Goslins. “They are staying in school longer, getting better grades, graduating from high school and going on to college at significantly higher rates than their peers. And they’re building skills that will last them a lifetime.”
We will have video footage from the ceremony shortly. In the meantime, you can view more photos of the adventure to the White House on our Facebook page and see articles about the award in The Oregonian and Bend Bulletin.
About the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards
The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nation’s highest honor for after-school arts and humanities programs. The awards recognizes and supports outstanding programs that lay new pathways to creativity, expression, and achievement outside of the regular school day. These programs excite and engage a range of students, cultivating imagination, collaboration, discipline, and academic success, with demonstrable results. They also provide safe harbors after school, on weekends, and in the evenings for children and youth in some of our country’s most at-risk urban and rural settings. For more information about the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards and the full list of 2015 award recipients, visit pcah.gov.
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