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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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Congrats to Terryn and the rest of the Leaders in Training!

You guys are great ambassadors for Solar Youth! Keep up the outstanding work!