by Brian C. Fahey, Program and Marketing Coordinator
On August 4th I attended the 2011 Community Youth Development (CYD) Recognition Ceremony at the Mexican American Cultural Center. CYD is a grant-funded initiative that provides funding to an array of juvenile delinquency prevention services to enhance the positive development of youth in the 78744 zip code. Since 1995, the project has engaged more than 8000 children, youth, and parents in prevention programs. CYD is funded through a Community Youth Development Grant from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS). Theatre Action Project was proud to be a service provider for CYD this year, along with the Mexic-Arte Museum, Workers Assistance Program, and City of Austin Youth Advisory Committee.
This year approximately 1,350 youth from the 78744 or Dove Springs neighborhood participated in TAP programming at their schools. Many participated in the Courage to Stand and Courage in Action programs. At the ceremony TAP honored three students who attended our 2011 Courage in Action All Star Camp. These students were highly engaged and proved to be natural leaders. They are Carlos Briceño, Khameyah “Kay Kay” Taylor, and Jennifer Yanez-Flores.
“Carlos was incredibly inspiring during our Courage in Action All-Star Camp. He was a natural leader with great ideas, always ready to share and participate.Kay Kay was highly motivated during camp. She came in and set and example of open commutation, collaboration, and trust by speaking her voice and encouraging others to as well. Jennifer excelled at diplomacy during camp. If others felt they weren’t being heard, she spoke up for them, and honored everyone’s goals and ideas.”
At the award ceremony we enjoyed performances from The Cipher, a hip hop group dedicated to building a community of young leaders and strengthening the East Austin community in multiple ways. We also heard from keynote speaker Attorney Bill Hopkins who spoke passionately about leadership, dreaming big and having a plan.
We congratulate the students who participated in CYD programming this year and look forward to continuing our partnership in the upcoming year.