2018 Solar Jam

SOLAR JAM 2018   


MAY 10TH, 6 TO 9:30 PM


Join us at Solar Youth’s annual Benefit Party & Auction- An evening of fun, food and supporting New Haven youth leadership programs!


  Become a sponsor of Solar Jam! As always, more than 200 guests will learn about Solar Youth as they enjoy great food, drink and dancing, and bid on items at the silent and live auction.

Click HERE to become a sponsor today

If you are ready to support New Haven’s youth,  please contact the Development Officer, Jaleesa Freeman at (203) 387-4189 / 

Buy your tickets today

 Thank you for supporting New Haven’s youth!

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Solar Jam 2017




6:00 PM - 9:00 PM 


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Solar Youth's Solar Jam!

Help us celebrate 15 years of empowering New Haven youth to achieve lifelong success through connection to the environment, their communities and each other!

April 1st, 6 to 9:30pm

at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History  - 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven

Buy Tickets HERE!

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Solar Youth's Solar Jam!


Check out our event page Here!

Join us and support the empowerment of New Haven's young people during an evening of food, fun, and dance!  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 from 6:00 to 9:00pm
at the Leitner Family Observatory and Planetarium
355 Prospect street New Haven, CT 06511.

 Don't forget to REGISTER early and
get a sneak peak at some of our

Auction Items HERE!

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Solar Youth's Solar Jam!

Check out our event page!!

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Solar Youth All Over the (New Haven) Map!

This week, like many at Solar Youth, was a whirlwind of activity and adventure.

Saturday found the Winter Explorers at West Rock Ridge State Park taking in the views and enjoying the surprisingly mild January weather. With the help of James Barnett from YOP (Youth Opportunities Program), teams from McConaughy Terrace and Westville Manor found common purpose in their climb to the summit, and enjoyed time together playing in Judges’ Cave.

Monday evening, two courageous Stewards from the McConaughy Terrace team, Aalexus and Sebastian, attended a meeting hosted by the New Haven Land Trust regarding the Pond Lily, a local nature preserve very near their neighborhood. The discussion covered proposals for the removal of the Dam at Pond Lily, as well as wildlife, recreation, and development for the area. Both Stewards had questions and feedback for the Land Trust and others present, including Connecticut Fund for the Environment, American Rivers, Malone and MacBroom, and the City of New Haven. 

Sebastian posed his first question to the group: “Are the animals going to like it when the dam is removed?” he asked. Then, Aalexus chimed in, “Are there any beavers there? What will they think of the dam being demolished?” Their concern over the proposed development, and its effects on the ecosystem at Pond Lily (even though it would be a great place for them to explore during program!) were a great example of the leadership, ecological awareness, and connection and commitment to their community that have been fostered during their time as Stewards.

We saw folks from the New Haven Land Trust again on Tuesday night, when Solar Youth staff attended the First Annual Meeting of the Greater New Haven Green Fund to be recognized as one of their first-year grantees. The Fund supports the efforts of environmental organizations that advance environmental justice, community sustainability, and restoration of the natural environment. Solar Youth received $10,000 to fund the 2012 Neighborhood Model Expansion process for the Citycology program. Other recipients included Solar Youth partners Common Ground High School, New Haven/Leon Sister Cities Project, and, you guessed it, the New Haven Land Trust! We are grateful to the Greater New Haven Green Fund for the opportunity to grow our programs, and our impact in New Haven! 

Left to right: Aalexus had questions for the Pond Lily project team; Winter Explorers celebrate making it to the summit; Sebastian (with Educator Julie Carson) asks more questions about Pond Lily

Solar Youth Fall 2011 Public Education Forum!

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Eco-31 in Westville Manor!

Today, Solar Youth Green Jobs Youth Development (GJYD) team used the atmosphere of Halloween to teach the residents of the Westville Manor about their community, the environment, and Solar Youth.  The GJYD apprentices named the event Eco-31 because they wanted to create an opportunity for everyone in the neighborhood to come together and appreciate their community and surroundings.   

The event was comprised of a series of 10 outdoor stations visited by kids, ages 2 –12.  At each station, they were able to learn about three main topic areas: Westville Manor, Solar Youth, and the environment.  After answering a question or performing a specific act related to the information given, the youth received candy! 

GJYD apprentices were in charge of each station along with the aid of several youth from the Leaders-in-Training program.  As most youth in Westville Manor were unable to go trick-or-treating due to various reasons, Eco-31 gave them the opportunity to stay close to home, learn new things, and still receive lots of candy! The event was created to be neutral in nature, to accommodate individuals that do not celebrate Halloween.  The premature snow storm, resulting in a white Halloween, made Eco-31 even more of a success, as few residents desired to leave the community in the cold weather.  It was a sight to see, and an event that transcended all ages, with adults bringing their children or relatives and all participants engaging in the information and activities presented at each station.

Solar Youth honored with Morris Wessel Prize, performs at awards ceremony

“I was nervous, but now I’m relieved.”  That’s Terryn Edwards, one of our Leaders-in-Training, after she and two other youth presented a multimedia play about Solar Youth to about 40 people. 

While New Haven was hunkering down during the first big snowstorm of the year, the young people of Solar Youth were representing the organization at Fair Haven Middle School. Solar Youth, along with Junta @ Big Turtle and Collective Consciousness, was chosen this year to receive the Morris Wessel Prize honoring “unsung heroes” working with and for the children of New Haven. (See the article in the New Haven Independent)

Of course, staff took this opportunity to give youth a chance to shine.  Our Leaders-in-Training – a group of veteran middle school youth on the path to internship – were tapped to create a 10-minute presentation to share their experience with Solar Youth.  Their creativity was unleashed and the product was incredible.  In three weeks, our group of youth: 

  • Brainstormed what type of presentations they could do
  • Conceived of a multimedia presentation with photos, songs and skit
  • Selected pictures from our Kick-Off Hike to West Rock
  • Created/tweaked and recorded four songs
  • Wrote a script to accompany the PowerPoint
  • Directed and rehearsed the presentation
  • Performed in front of 40 people, to much acclaim 

The ceremony finished with Gammy, a long-time Solar Youth Educator, leading 6 of our youth and the entire audience through a series of Caribbean drumming beats.  The youth did great, and everyone had a blast!

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Solar Youth’s Westville Manor Steward Team at the CWYC’s Youth Arts Celebration

“Hi my name is Cherish. We’re from the Solar Youth Steward Team. Kids explore, kids do and kids teach at Solar Youth. We use songs to learn about the environment and to have fun. We are from the Westville Manor Community. Please enjoy our performance.  Thank you.”  

Undaunted by the large crowd, Cherish proudly introduced Solar Youth to the audience at the Neighborhood Music School.  The performance was part of the 2nd annual Youth Arts Celebration, a showcase of visual and performing arts by students across New Haven and beyond.  The event is organized by the Citywide Youth Coalition of New Haven, and Solar Youth was delighted to receive an invitation again this year.  Cherish and her friends began the set with a number of Afro- Caribbean drumming rhythms on a variety of drums, the crowd roaring with applause and appreciation after each set.  

Later, youth also performed two environmental education songs, beginning with one about ecosystems: “Ecosystem, ecosystem everything is connected - biotic living or dead, abiotic never alive,” they sang.  The number, one among many of Solar Youth’s popular theme songs which teach youth about the interdependence of our planet, was a huge hit.  They then sang the New Haven Watershed Song to a dance routine created by the youth.  Each word echoed with confidence: “W-e-s-t West River, we got the M-to-the-I-to-the-double-L, we got the Mill.  Quinnipiac, Quinnipiac, just about giving me a heart attack.”  When they finished singing, youth glowed as the audience gave them a final round of applause.

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