Youth Radio will be awarded the nation's highest honor for youth arts programs on Monday at the White House. Senior Producer Nishat Kurwa and student representative Shyra Gums, 17, will be accepting the award from First Lady Michelle Obama.
“The 2012 awardees demonstrate the power that comes from young people realizing their creative promise,” said Mrs. Obama. “These outstanding organizations from across the country inspire our youth to explore the world of possibility that awaits them, and they are gaining critical skills that translate into every other aspect of their lives.”
Chosen from a pool of more than 350 nominations, Youth Radio is one of only 12 after-school and out-of-school programs across the country to receive the award. The awards are presented by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
“I came to Youth Radio to learn about music and media production,” Gums said. “But during the past two years, I’ve gained the skills that have put me on a path to success. Youth Radio has helped me grow as a leader and as an artist, and has given me once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like meeting the First Lady at the White House.”
Ellin O’Leary, President and Chief Content Officer for Youth Radio said she was deeply honored to receive this recognition from the White House. “It’s a tribute to the many outstanding youth we have served over the past two decades. We’re incredibly proud of this achievement that our young artists, supporters, board and staff have made possible.”
The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards recognize and support outstanding programs that lay new pathways to creativity, expression, and achievement outside of the regular school day. These programs excite and engage a range of students, cultivating imagination, collaboration, discipline and academic success, with demonstrable results. They also provide safe harbors after school, on weekends and evenings for children and youth in some of our country’s most at-risk urban and rural settings.