In order to further their knowledge, youth and staff explored the “Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives” at the end of February. Youth were able to gain insight and hear stories of local African American men and women and their push for equal rights. An additional wing was created in memory of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. The display includes signs with statements such as “I can’t breathe” and “Black lives matter.” 

In addition to visiting the museum, each youth was instructed to pick an influential African American, to present to the group. The only criteria entailed mutual interests, and different ways the youth were able to relate to their historical figure. The youth participated by creating poster boards, or PowerPoints, and were able to present to the group interesting facts of their person of choice. 

At the end of presentations, youth capped off the month with an ethnic meal that included the following items: chicken, greens, cornbread, and sweet tea. During dinner, the youth were able to play African American history “trivia” and watched the movie “Ruby Bridges.” Our youth continue to express their excitement with upcoming months, and different activities to engage in!

New Hope Youth Center is a 15-bed residential Mental Health/Behavioral Stabilization program. The type of children benefiting from New Hope Youth Academy are 10-17-year-old females needing out-of-home residential placement in an open setting. Contact New Hope Youth Academy at 989-775-6212.