Volume 7 2007 Year-in-Review
SOLAR YOUTH GROWS UP WITH STRATEGIC PLANNING
n 2007, Solar Youth went through its first strategic planning process. Supported by Empower New Haven, staff, Board and youth took the opportunity to reflect on what we have accomplished in our first 7 years. We then launched into exciting brainstorming about where we want to go and who we want to be. Led by Brenda O’Neil of Lightspeed, LLC and our amazing committee chair Zoe Brookes, we researched other organizations and interviewed our many stakeholders, eventually coming to some conclusions.
scale organization, reaching more youth throughout the City of New Haven (and at some point possibly beyond). But we want to grow in a way that creates more long-term contact with youth. Therefore, we developed the idea of a Neighborhood Model. In this model, now being piloted in the Westville Manor public housing development of West Rock, we are developing a menu of programs that reach youth from age 5 to 18. Youth in the community have opportunities to Explore! Do! And Teach! throughout their adolescence. The programs are Moet Charles and Kim Barnes hiking in West Rock Park designed for youth to build on previous experience, gaining more leadership and responsibility as DVENTURE TEAM: weekly adventures well as skills, knowledge and personal that get youth moving and explorstrength. ing, such as hiking in West Rock Ridge State Park, discovering Here is a sample of insects in Wintergreen Solar Youth showed Neighborhood Model Brook, fishing and more. Programs: me not only what In addition to expanded TEWARD TEAM: our nature was, but the programs, our 3-Year Strakeystone prodefinition of leader- tegic Plan includes buildgram that guides ing our organizational caship, responsibility youth in (1) exploring pacity to become a larger their local commuand hard work. organization, and planning nity, learning ecology -Jaleesa Freeman for growth — e.g. raising and teamw ork the funding to support through hands-on expansion. These are to prepare us of experiences—Kids Explore!, (2) develour ultimate goal or replicating the oping community service action promodel in other neighborhoods of New jects that address an issue in their enviHaven. ronment - Kids Do!, and(3) teach what they’ve learned to others—Kids Teach! Turn the page and see how you can help! ITYCOLOGY: teenagers are trained as environmental educators who then lead programs for younger children in their neighborhood.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Aviv Aviad
Ed Bonilla Zoe Brookes Joe Denicola Nicole Dunnaville Youth Member
Heather Gilbert Rebecca Gratz Javaughn Harris Youth Member
Norris Haynes Rachel Hereema Cathy Jones Shakila McKnight Youth Member
Chris Rector Joanne Sciulli Kate Walton
Service Crew ready for trailblazing
Based on our experiences, confirmed by research, we see the most powerful outcomes in the youth come about when there is lasting contact —
when Solar Youth becomes a positive, reliable and consistent influence in a young person’s life. One major example is that of JJ Harris (see page 8). Jaleesa Freeman, another long-time participant (youth highlight, page 10), says it well in her college essay: “Solar Youth has opened many doors for me and helped me explore many things in life. I not only learned about my community but it helped me to explore myself as well. Solar Youth showed me not only what nature was, but the definition of leadership, responsibility and hard work.” During the planning process, we decided that we want to become a city-
see our 2007 accomplishments and how
CREW: youth participate in weekly projects that help others. So far in 2008 they have planted a garden whose harvest will be donated to a local homeless shelter, built raptor boxes for injured birds, planted flowers in elderly neighbors yards, removed illegal dumping from the woods behind their community, and much more. ERVICE
Nehemiah harvesting sunfowers in the garden
Kids Explore! Kids Do! Kids Teach!
2007-08 Adult Staff Joanne Sciulli EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Rosana Garcia PROGRAM MANAGER (SPRING)
Evelyn Diaz OFFICE MANAGER
Gamaliel Moses PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Elizabeth Studley PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Kimberly Barnes ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR
Every year we produce a newsletter that highlights our accomplishments. It has taken a while to get the 2007 Year-in-Review completed, but we feel it essential to share with our friends, families and partners last years’ adventures. As the article on the front indicates, 2007 was the beginning of a new vision for Solar Youth. The first task—piloting our new Neighborhood Model—is well underway. The second two tasks are ones we need your help with. In order for us to take what we have learned and make a difference in more children’s lives, as we believe we can, we need the support of a vast network of people. I encourage you to read about our youth’s accomplishments, and then think about how, if you also believe in what we do, you can be a part of it— by becoming a FOSY (Friend of Solar youth through donation), leading us to resources, or offering help or advice. Thank you in advance for your interest and support!
Zeny Pfisterer ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR
Jessica Heringer ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR
Kelly Misiak ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR
Joanne Sciulli Executive Director
Maggie Dressel ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR
2007 Youth Staff Nicole Dunnaville Jody Ann Purcell Sara Torres Tatiana Winn Carlene Barnes Bernice Council Dontae Lucky Shawanda Miller Leshae S. Sparks Tayler West Valerie Rodriguez Joel L. Suarez Taleequa Arrington Shanea Lucky Shakila McKnight Stacey Dixon Fransmari Dippini Jaleesa Freeman Quanisha Solomon Robert E. Hickerson Science Burress Arthur Mabry Luquaia Melton Rodnesha Williams-Green Jamika Henry Jose Benitez-Rivera Aisha Gambrell Aurora Wright Glorive Rivera
Solar Youth, Inc. provides opportunities for young people to develop a positive sense of self, and a connection and commitment to others through programs that incorporate environmental exploration, leadership and community service.
YOUTH SUMMIT—APRIL 2007
ach year during the April Spring vacation, Solar Youth runs a three day program where youth from our city wide N EIGHBORHOOD S TEWARD T EAMS gather and focus on one theme as they Explore! Do! and Teach! Last year staff focused on issues of energy and climate change.
DAY 1 Based at the ranger station in East Rock Park (thanks Ranger Dan!), staff taught youth about energy, sources of energy, and the difference between renewable and non-renewable energy. After lunch we then used our bodies’ energy to hike to the Summit of East Rock. In the picture to the left youth begin their assent up the Giant Steps.
Youth Summit Stewards and Staff in front of New Haven City Hall
learned different ways to conserve energy. Later, in the Children’s Room of the New Haven Free Public Library, youth educated children and parents in about what they learned during the Summit.
Here are our youths’ suggestions for saving energy. Go outside instead of watching TV all day Put on more clothes to stay warm instead of heat. Ride a bike, bike or walk instead of a car Hang clothes up instead of putting in the dryer Change your light bulbs Plug appliances into a power strip— strip this saves energy
Nicole and Tatiana teach the Greenhouse Effect
Day 2 On the second day youth learned about the natural greenhouse effect from interns Nicole, Shakila and Tatiana. Through an active game and discussions, they learned about the connection between energy use and global climate change.
Tenajah and Moet present their energy poster
Day 3 On the New Haven Green downtown, staff led youth in a Energy Conservation Relay where they
Juan hangs clothes on a line during Energy Efficiency Relay Race. At left, Javier plugs appliances into energy-saving power strip.
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Neighborhood Steward Teams (NSTs) are After-school Programs run in collaboration with NEW HAVEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS and COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS. Following the model Kids Explore! Kids Do! Kids Teach!, adult educators and high school interns guide youth through community and science explorations, the Community Service Action Project (C-SAP) cycle and in creating a Public Education Project. Based on strong youth development principles, the program empowers youth to become positive agents of change.
Westville Manor The WESTVILLE MANOR TEAM started off the season by learning about natural resource conservation. They learned about landfills and what happens to trash once they put it in the dumpster. They talked about the three R's, decomposition and composting - nature's way of recycling. They adopted 1,000 composting red worms and started feeding them food scraps. They took soil samples from around the neighborhood and looked at the different layers, talking about biotic and abiotic materials in the soil.
STREET TEAM for the Spring Season. After the team put a lot of thinking and energy into developing plans for their C-SAP, the George Street Team decided on a beautification project for their community. They worked with Olivia and Rick from Mutual Housing to plant flowers around their building.
The HILL CENTRAL 4th Grade Team learned about point source and non-point source pollution. They identified litter in their community as the problem and organized a cleanup. Paul Bass, from the New Haven Independent, came in to teach the team how to write an article about their C-SAP and access the website from their school.
Mutual Housing - Poplar St. The POPLAR STREET TEAM planted flowers in the empty beds of their new housing development with supplies donated by Mutual Housing. They learned how to plant flowers, what plants need to live, and how to deal with problems that come up. When some other kids wrecked some of the flowers, they planted more and put little fences up to protect them.
John S. Martinez School With help from the City of New Havenâ€™s Livable City Initiative and Grand Paint, the JOHN MARTINEZ TEAM accomplished their objective of painting over the graffiti on the building across from the school's playfield. As a result, they were featured in many local newspapers and on the New Haven Independent website! The youth learned that they can make a difference, and perseverance pays off!
Hill Central Teams The WVM Team decided to focus on the problem of cigarette butts as litter for their CSAP. During their cleanup, youth picked up over 1000 cigarette butts. In choosing their focus, youth made some good connections between cigarette butt litter, watersheds and decomposition, or lack there-of. Their cleanup was followed by a PSA video shoot where they explain the harmful effects of cigarette butt litter. WATCH IT NOW! At http:// solaryouthinc.blogspot.com
Mutual Housing-George St. Water, Ecosystems, Resource Conservation, Trees, Cultural differences, Oh My! This was the lesson plan for Mutual Housingâ€™s GEORGE
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The HILL CENTRAL 5th Grade Team identified no recycling bins in the classroom as the problem they wanted to address for their CSAP. They reused 35 cardboard boxes to make recycling bins. The school janitors participated in the project by committing to collect the recycling along with their trash pick-ups.
Westville Manor This fall the youth of Westville Manor explored the rich natural resources around their neighborhood, including West Rock Ridge State Park and Wintergreen Brook, both in their backyards. They helped put their community garden to bed for the winter and harve s ted th e remaining tomatoes and peppers they planted last spring. For their C-SAP, Youth saw that a memorial garden in their neighborhood was in ...
poor shape. They decided to clean up the garden in addition to plant bulbs and design a new sign for the garden.
Barnard School At Barnard Environmental Magnet School, our NST team had the privilege of spending our afternoons at West River Memorial Park. After an exciting trip to the Garbage Museum in Stratford, CT, the team had the idea of separating the trash that had been collected at the park on many afternoons and making Trash Art with the recyclable materials. Our creative minds worked together to form some interesting new artwork to spice up the front lobby at Barnard!
Mutual Housing-George St. This season George Street Steward Team learned about New Haven’s rivers, treking to Edgewood Park to see the West River. Along with learning about the ecosystem, resource conservation, and trees, the group did a cigarette butt clean up around their apartment (over 400 butts!) and were photographed for New Haven Magazine to recognize their community service.
Truman School This fall was Truman’s first season with Solar Youth and the kids really got into it! Along with learning about the ecosystem, watersheds, adaptations, and resource conservation, they put their knowledge to great use by doing a GIANT trash and glass clean up around their school! The group collected over 25 pounds of glass and was amazed by how much they accomplished when they worked as a team!
Hill Central School Mutual Housing - Poplar St. Participants at Mutual Housing Poplar Street revisited Adaptations, Ecosystems, Watersheds, Tree ID and Resource Conservation. Since all the participants were returning, new games and hands on activities were used to reinforce past topics. They also explored “Natural Magic” by conducting science experiments in the dark and learning about the unique things nature can do for them. For this fall season of NST the students were hoping to volunteer at an animal shelter but due to age restrictions, they brainstormed and identified another way to give back to their community. Participants did a clean up in their community and decided that their community center needed bigger recycling bins.
Youth identified graffiti as their problem. They decided to create a comic book to hand out in order to educate others about the issue. They learned that graffiti is an art form and is not always bad.
Fall Steward Team Staff Training at Camp Whitman
Excerpt from Hill Central's Graffiti Comic Book
John S. Martinez School The Team explored Adaptations, Ecosystems, Trees, Resource Conservation, Energy and Climate Change and Natural Magic! Teambuilding was a major part of every day, as well as learning how to give back to the community. Students chose their own C-SAP project after working through the C-SAP process and decided that garbage was a major environmental issue in their school’s community. Over the course of two days students picked up cigarette buts, cardboard, plastic and countless other items.
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Culturally Diverse Staff called for BioDiversity Education this summer! Adult Staff (and place of origin), left: Gameliel Moses (Dominica), Kelly Mahoney (Texas), Cody Norris (New Haven), Yale President Public Service Fellow: Amandla Obooko (Kenya), Yale China Interns: Anita Nananan(Hong Kong), Ming Nah (Vietnam)
ummer 2007’s theme was Biodiversity. In harmony with our diversity theme we were fortunate to have a diverse staff from around the globe: China, Dominica, Kenya, Vietnam and the United States. Each week educators, interns and campers explored a different topic in depth through field trips, hands-on lessons and games, and visits from guest speakers. Here is a summary of what we did! Fall NST Staff Training at Camp Whitman Snack Magoo and helper Niamke after handing out snack!
The CSSC unites youth from all over New Haven in an intensive environmental education and youth development program utilizing our Kids Explore! Kids Do! Kids Teach! model. Youth visit different locations in Connecticut to learn about the environment and come up with Community Service Action Projects to help solve problems. The summer ends with a Public Education Project, where friends and family learn about all the youth learned and accomplished!
outh studied the ways in which a landscape’s history shapes its features and organisms that inhabit it. We identified native and invasive plants, explored urban ecology, gardens and parks. Some of the places we visited were the Marsh Botanic Garden, Edgerton Park and Outer Island.
One of our daily team-building challenges
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outh examined the environments in which animals inhabit. We explored the place where a species is found, and identified the characteristics of the place i.e. climate or availability of suitable food or shelter that makes each location especially well suited to meet the needs of that species. We explored tidal, inter-tidal and shore ecology and their animal inhabitants. We studied
interrelationship of humans, animals and society through a visit to the Yale horse stables with Leg Up, Inc., Mystic Aquarium and a day with a visiting artist whose work focuses on the adaptive skills animals use to carve a
niche in developed areas. ood is an exploration of culture! What we consume, how we get it, who prepares it, who’s at the table and who eats first is a form of communication, rich with meaning. Food is a bond which brings together families, individuals, communities and countries. This week we explored human-based food webs including the cultivation, production and industry of food by visiting City Seed’s downtown Farmers Market, picking blueberries at a local farm, and going on a scavenger hunt in Shaw’s Supermarket! Youth learned that there are 120 restaurants located within a two block radius of downtown as they wrapped up the week with a delicious food tour sampling the diversity of food representative of the history of ethnic immigration to New Haven - Thai, Jamaican, Middle Eastern, Japanese, Indian, American, Spanish, etc.
2007 Youth Staff Plus age and # years with Solar Youth in ()
Shakila McKnight 16 years old (9 in SY) Jaleesa Freeman 17 (9)
outh were split into three Teams to go through Solar Youth’s Community Service Action Project process. In this process youth identify problems, choose a problem to address, research that problem, brainstorm solutions, develop action plans, and take action.
The 2 Step Tigers Team designed postcards in order to address the problem of global warming. They drew pictures of actions individuals can do to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and methane which causes the greenhouse gas effect.
The Transformers Team decided to address the problem of stray animals and endangered species. So they made large posters to encourage people to protect and care for the animals we share the earth with. The Ligers Team believed that they as campers could do outreach for Solar Youth so they decided to make an information card about Solar Youth using the lunch trays they collected. This also reinforced the importance of reducing and reusing things.
Shanea Lucky 15 (3)
Stacey Dixon 16 (1)
Fransmari Dippini, 16 (1)
Taleequa Arrington 17 (1)
Exploring tidal pools at SCSU’s Outer Island
T Christian and Randell picking (and tasting) blueberries
he CSSC Public Education Forum was held at the New Haven Free Public Library. Everyone played an introductory game which demonstrated that we all had something in common. Youth then presented what they learned and what they did for the summer to an audience including community members, family members and Solar Youth supporters. Through skits that included audience participation, they taught others about the importance of habitat conservation on biodiversity and their experiences learning about new cultures. Then the entire camp lead everyone in a presentation of song and dance. This program was made possible by the following:
ids learned about the natural systems in a given environment and how they influence what a village, town or city produces. In discussions and while visiting the Mashentucket Pequot Museum we compared the material culture of indigenous and native peoples to that which we produce today.
•New Haven Public Schools •Louis G. Schaneman, Jr. Foundation •City of New Haven Youth@Work •Yale President Public Service Fellowship • Yale China internship program •Community Foundation for Greater New Haven •And individual FOSY (Friends of Solar Youth)
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A collaboration with
his summer we offered a Digital Storytelling Program in collaboration with The Color of Words. a six-week summer program offered to eight young people ages 14 to 19 led by Magalis Martinez. This program served as a media internship that included comprehensive writing and technology based workshops where participants developed the following skills: writing, public speaking, presentation, critical thinking, digital photography and digital video production/editing. Each intern was to complete a digital story— 2-3 minute “mini-movies” which include a personal narrative (voice-over) accompanied by photos and/or video footage. In their personal stories they revisited their personal experiences and explored their growth as young individuals. It was an amazing experience to have them open up in such ways. The stories had as much an affect on their audience, composed of family and friends, as it did on the Interns themselves.
done something that very few people get the opportunity to do, and helped change my outlook on life into a totally new direction!... Thanks for not only believing in my work, my abilities, or my character, but for just... believing ...in me. - Dontae Lucky, 15
Clockwise from top left: Geraldine Robinson, Carlene Barnes, Valerie Rodriguez, Shawanda Miller, Leshae S. Sparks, Dontae Lucky, Joel L. Suarez, Science Burress, Tayler West, Robert Hickerson
In their own words: I could never forget the day I watched my personal digital story come to life. It was like watching my whole life, being summed into 4 short minutes. It made me feel as if I had
… It’s like I got a second opportunity to do something different for my life, for the good of me. Going through the process of making my own digital story made me a better character. It let me see different views of different things. … I learned how to never judge anyone, regardless of the standards of which they live in. … I proved to myself and to everyone else that i can do anything i put my mind to. – Shawanda Miller, 15 This collaboration was supported by
Youth Start their OWN summer Program J
pendent online daily, and Andy Ross who donated a lot of money to help us out.
avaughn Harris has been involved with Solar Youth since 2000. He has served as Youth Advisory Group Coordinator, been a member of the Board of Directors for 6 years, and represented New Haven at the Children's World Summit in Japan in 2005. Last summer (before starting his senior year of high school) he started his OWN youth program to serve the children on his block. The most extraordinary part of the story was that when he called for some advice, he was not asking if he could do this. In fact, it never occurred to him that he couldn’t. We are so proud of JJ and Caprice! -Joanne Thompson Street youth on the New Haven Green
Thompson Street Youth Coalition
Joanne was very enthusiastic and happy to help us with all that she could do, including getting us in contact with two people that he Thompson Street Youth Coalition was really helped us in a big way. One was Andy founded by Caprice Taylor and myself. Boone who gave me guidance on making The reason why Caprice and I wanted to the actual outline of the program. I had many start our own organization was because there meetings with Andy, talking about the proreally wasn't anything for youth gram side, but also the business side. to do in the Newhallville area of ...we decided it He let me know people would be New Haven. Our first thought willing to help us more if we had a was just have a big awareness would be more fiduciary where people can donate event where all the kids from the effective for us there money too, so they can feel Newhallville area could come safe in where their money was going. and there would be different just to have our I decided that we should ask Solar reps for youth organizations own program. Youth to be our fiduciary because around New Haven, but as we Joanne and Solar Youth were really started to plan we decided it would be more the reason I realized there was a need for a effective for us just to have our own program. youth program similar to Solar Youth in the Newhallville Area. As more planning went on I decided to call Joanne at Solar Youth to tell her about our Other people that helped were Paul Bass who efforts and what we were trying to do. got us attention through the New Haven IndeBy Javaughn Harris
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After all the business was in place it was time for the summer to start. The first day of camp was very exciting and fun. We started out the day with all the kids getting to know each other by playing games and telling stories about themselves. After lunch we took the kids downtown on the Green to play. I wish I could say that was how all the days went during this summer. I learned that anything that could happen, would happen. That is why this summer was a great learning adventure. Me and the staff experienced bus cancellations, not having lunch for the kids, and not even having a place to hold camp the last few days. Some things I learned this summer was that you always have to plan, then organize, then plan again because you always have to have plan B. Some other things I learned were that mistakes will happen, and the people that are suppose to really support you and be on your side are sometimes the ones who will hold you back. All in all the summer was really fun and exciting. I really learned a lot and the kids did also. Some of them still call my house asking when is camp going to start because they had so much fun, and they cant wait for next year.
HOLA: Hands-on Outdoor Learning Adventure HOLA is Solar Youth’s in-school program that compliments Connecticut Science Standards though experiential learning with hands-on, fun lessons. We have continued and expanded our partnership with Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School.
eaching out to over 220 students, each class in the 2nd through 5th grades meets with HOLA educators four times throughout the school year to participate in customized sessions in the tradition of Solar Youth, including games, songs and hands-on lessons.
e are excited to have the opportunity during our 2007-2008 season to introduce youth to the Nature Center in West River Memorial Park, located across the street from Barnard. Connected by a bridge over Ella T. Grasso Boulevard, students and teachers have easy and exciting access to the park.
“I just received notice that your group visited my daughter’s class at Barnard Environmental Magnet School today” commented a The visit had parent of a 3rd grade student. “The visit had such a posisuch a positive impact tive impact on her that she couldn’t stop talking about on her that it. Please keep up the she couldn’t good work.”
arjorie Drucker, about it. Barnard’s Magnet -from parent email Theme Content Coordinator, shares that “Solar Youth provides a hands-on, minds-on experience that appeals to all learners. The techniques used are their trademarks and make learning fun. We are so glad to have them as partners.”
This program was supported through the school’s Magnet School funding, which ends this year. We are currently looking for new support to keep the mutually beneficial partnership alive.
interview with a speaker, workshop organizer, or other youth group.
Performing on the New Haven Green
“Don’t litter, don’t litter, don’t litter on the street. Keep it clean and keep it neat, don’t litter on the street.” This is the chorus of the song Jalana Kelley wrote in the Eco Arts and Culture Program. The program, led by Gamaliel Moses, allowed youth to express themselves through different art forms as they learned about the Carribean environment and cultures. Participants played Afro-Caribbean drumming rhythms as they learned about Caribbean ecology (tropical rainforests and volcanic islands) through storytelling, poetry and popular theater. Youth wrote poems, songs and skits then performed them to the sound of drums and other percussion instruments played by other participants. The program ended with a ‘Bang’ with the youth performing for the community at Katherine Brennan School. They also performed at the West Rock Community Pride Parade and on the New Haven Green at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas Village of Villages.
esitant at first, the youth started making their way through the crowds of attendees and speakers. Unknowingly, they came to interview some of the most important people at the conference, including Van Jones—a civil rights and environmental justice advocate from Oakland, California. In speaking and interacting with individuals and organizations with similar goals, simple enthusiasm grew into a vision.
n October, members of the Youth Advisory Group attended the “Connecting for
Change, Bioneers by the Bay Conference” in Massachusetts. The conference is “a hub of practical solutions for restoring the Earth and its inhabitants.” Five youth and two staff traveled to Dartmouth, MA, and met other youth involved with environmental and youth leadership work. Throughout the conference, YAG members were responsible for conducting at least one The mission of the YAG is to is “to advise Solar Youth on what kids like to do, act as a youth voice, support the success of Solar Youth, and help youth grow in their attitudes, knowledge and skills we will need in the future.
On the last day of the conference, the Youth Advisory Group was asked to introduce themselves on stage to the more than 400 conference attendees. They led a game of “Gotcha,” an ice-breaker, for the entire auditorium. As the members of the YAG mentioned their number of years in affiliation with Solar Youth, some going back eight years, the crowd acknowledged their commitment with roaring applause!
Performing at the Peabody Museum, MLK Day 2008
olar Youth YAG members traveled to Dartmouth for the opportunity to serve as participants in the Bioneers by the Bay conference and came back an empowered group of young individuals.
Arthur Mabry, Nicole Dunnaville, Shakila McKnight, conference participant, Rodnesha Williams-Green, and Luquaia Melton
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aleesa has been a part of Solar Youth for half her life. In 1999 she was in our pilot programs, and was one of the four youth who helped write our mission, by-laws and vision in 2000. As a member of the Board of Directors for the first four years, she was an excellent spokesperson for the organization, and presented at conferences such as the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund and North American Association for Environmental Education. She has held roles as participant, intern and youth educator. This coming summer, at age 18, she may be hired as an adult staff. In the last 8 years, we have seen a spinly, sassy, smart little girl transform into an incredibly poised, focused and compassionate young woman. We are proud to be a part of her life, and feel honored that we can call her a co-founder fo Solar Youth. To contribute to Jaleesa’s college fund, email Joanne@solaryouth.com
Left: 9 year old Jaleesa climbing West Rock in 2000 Above: Teaching Farnum Neighborhood House youth, 2006
velyn Diaz came to Connecticut in the summer of 2006 from southern California in search of adventure. She found more that she bargained for here at Solar Youth! As our first Office Manager, Evelyn organized our systems, developed policies and procedures, managed our books and has been a rock of support for our growing family of staff, youth and volunteers. She has become an indispensable partner to SY’s Executive Director in all things organizational. Regular office visitors Jalana and Teniya learned that she likes music, cheese and the color purple. She aspires to have a career in audio production and has taken classes towards that goal. Program Director Beth Studley says that “Evelyn brightens up the office with her positive attitude. You can tell that Solar Youth is in her heart.”
Thank You Rose! Rosana Garcia came to Solar Youth as our Program Manager in 2005. She kept Solar Youth on task by juggling the day to day administration of programs. She has moved on to new adventures with Easter Seals/Good Will Industries. Good Luck Miss Rose!
On Saturdays, we invite members of all Steward Teams to day-long adventures, to explore new places and meet youth from around the city. Here are highlights: Jan Mar Apr May
Peabody Museum-MLK Day CATS @ the Shubert Theatre Sleeping Giant State Park Harbor Trail with Chris Osyck Sleeping Beauty @ the Shubert Edgewood Park West Rock Hike East Rock Hike & Canoeing Freddy Fixer Parade Sleeping Giant State Park East Rock Park Festival Mercy Center and Children of the Earth Foundation West Rock Nature Center East Rock Park Trash Museum Norwalk Maritime Aquarium
With Mayor of New Haven at Freddy Fixer Parade
Picking up broken glass from summit of West Rock Ridge State Park Learning to make fird at Mercy
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Island clean-up along the West River
Castle at Sleeping Giant State Park
Interns Rodneshia, Luquaia, Aurora & Khaleya
Hiking in the rain in West Rock Park
State of Connecticut Department of Social Services Community Foundation of Greater New Haven New Haven Public Schools Empower New Haven Non Profit Academy City of New Haven (Youth@Work and Youth Initiative)
Annie E. Casey Foundation Mutual Housing of South Central Connecticut Housing Authority New Haven (in kind office space)
Lewis G. Schaeneman, Jr. Foundation Public Allies of Connecticut NewAlliance Foundation United Way of Greater New Haven Betsy & Jesse Fink Fund City Wide Youth Coalition E-bay Foundation
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F.O.S.Y. 2007 FRIENDS OF SOLAR YOUTH Aaron Amason, Joseph Ambrose, Aviv Aviad, Melissa Bailey, Lisa Bassani, Dave Bechtel, Madeline Bergeron, Erica Bergman, Stephanie Bergman-Hoechster, BerryHulin Family, Seth Binder, Alastair Binnie & Zoe Brookes, Leslie Blatteau, Meredith Blodget, Stuart Blum, Ed Bonilla, Kyle Bradley, Robert & Katherine Bradley, Josiah Brown, Alisa & Gordon Brown, Bill Burch, Jodi Bush, Thea Buxbaum, Anne Calabresi, Mitz Carr, Kimball Cartwright, Ev Cassagneres, Chris Cavallaro, Cynthia Cavallaro, Wendy & John Champion, Peter Chapman, Todd Ciccarelli, Shenell Clarke, J. Kieran Coleman, Liz Cox, Sharon Craft, Lee Cruz, Terry Dagradi, Leanne Davis, Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Denny, Evelyn Diaz, William Doheny, Bill Duesing, William Dyson, Eileen Eder, Deborah Elkin, Marisa Falcigno, Jim Farnam, Harvey Feinberg, Tressa Ferrell, Jacky Fields, Jesse Fink, Sarah Fitzpatrick, Alyson Fox, Terry Freeman, Dominic Galardi, David Galt, Matthew Garrett, Zac Garrett, Daphne Geismar, Chris Getman, Heather Gilbert, Karen Gilvarg, Michelle Gottlieb, Sharon Graff, Rebecca Gratz, Greenleaf Therapies, Mille Grenough, Elizabeth Halsey, Maggie Hatcher, David Heiser, John Heler, Jessica Heringer, Uri Hershberg, Tom Holahan, Noah Holm, Heather Hurst, Joshua Johnson, Thom Johnson, Cathy Jones, Illisa Kelman, Jo Kremer, Bill Kurtz, Trina & David Learned, Caitlin & Roland Lemor, David Lewicki, Martin Mador, Tom Malone, Joshua Mamis, Sabrina Marquess, Tessa Marquis, Maureen McCarthy, Phyllis McDowell, Melissa McGrath, Robert McGuire, Joan McGuire, Molly McKay, Jennifer McTiernan, Max MikoLevine, Susan & David Millen, Meredith Miller, Florence Miller, G. Miller, Ross Mitchell, JoAnne Moore, Julia MooreAiello, Artemis Morris, Elise Morrison, Joelle Musante, Mark Newhall, Julie Newman, Sara Ohly, Alison Ormsby, Elisabet Orville, Inge Osborne, Susan Papa, Kim Parent-Hayash, Christina Park, Melanie Payne, Muffy Pendergast, Stephen Pendergast, Alice Perry, Dennis Peters, Darren Peterson, Jackie Peterson, Zenaida Pfisterer, Stephen Press, Dennis Preziosi, Mason Rabinowitz, Gretchen Raffa, Kristen Rashidi, Brome Rice, Mats & Lauri Robbins Ericson, Jackel Robinson, Josephine Robinson & Dean Fischer, Rob Rocke, Randi Ruben Rodriguez, Beth Rosen, Eva Rosenthal, Marjorie Rosenthal, Andrew Ross, Renee Ruhl, Duane Samuel, Jonathan Scheuer, Duncan Schmitt, Joanne Sciulli, Barbara & Frank Sciulli, Michael & Dina Secchiaroli, Melina ShannonDiPietro, Judi Sheiffele, Matthew Short, Claire Shubik, Ina Silverman, Sean Smith, Felicia Smuts, Rob Smuts, Timothy Speevack, Martha Stone, David Streever, Shanna Strongin, Christian Taylor, Aisha Thompson, Kevin Van Aelst, Christopher VanZenton, Santos Vargas, Cass Vertefeulle, Jennifer Vickery, Janna Wagner, Kate Walton, Emily Watzl, Veitl Watzl, Harry Wexler, Robin Wingate-Pettway, Robin Winnat, Louise Zemina BOLD=SUPERFOSY (GIFTS OVER $200)
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PERMIT NO. 67
www.solaryouth.org In Their Words... “I plan to do some of my own exploring in the future because working at Solar Youth has truly influenced me to go out and try new things and meet new people.” -Youth Intern
“He knows that is it everyone's responsibility to help out with the environment.” -Truman School Team Parent
“[My son] has a difficult time behaving and getting along with other kids and I feel he has learned some valuable skills this summer.” -Summer parent
“Thank you and your students for being such a positive force this weekend. ...Everyone in that room Sunday morning was blown away by your kids and they should be very proud of themselves.” -Kalia Lydgate Organizer of Bioneers By the Bay conference
“She would share her experiences on the trips and she would let me know things she learned about the environment and taking care of it.” -Poplar Street Team Parent