U N I T Y
U N I T Y stands for:
United, Neighboring, Interdependent, Trusted Youth
The opportunity to be powerful.
UNITY brings together diverse groups of adolescents in spaces and initiatives that allow them to express themselves while learning to become leaders in their community and their own lives.
We engage adult and college-aged program leaders who believe in the personal power of teenagers and facilitate programming designed to help each young person move forward in life. All of our activities are free and we provide transportation as much as possible to enable participation regardless of a teen’s family’s ability to give him or her a ride.
Youth Leadership Program - Tuesdays 6:00pm-8:00pm
If you could change one thing about your community, your school, or yourself, what would it be? Our Youth Leadership Program is the perfect place to come explore this question and work to make positive changes in yourself and in the world around you. We engage a diverse group of 20 teens in 30 weeks of leadership training and service project development. For the 2013-2014 school year, YLP runs 10/8/13 through 6/10/14. Apply here.
“It was the most amazing feeling getting to look at a completed project in front of you. We would be tired and hot, and it was all worth it knowing that we were really helping the community”. –Crystal, YLP
UNITY at Brayton - Mondays October-January, 3pm-4:45pm (at Brayton Elementary School)
In 2013, we began offering a version of our popular Youth Leadership Program to 6th and 7th grade students at Brayton! We’ll continue this year with two UNITY “clubs”, each meeting one day per week afterschool at Brayton as part of their 21st Century Learning afterschool offerings. Participants will explore interpersonal, internal, community, and school leadership skills specific to their age around as well as create original service projects to benefit their school and community.
Teen Writing Workshop - Tuesdays, 4pm-5:30pm
Are you an aspiring poet or just love writing poetry for fun? Working on your first (or fourth!) novel? Do you write stories to explore some of the things you’re dealing with in your world right now? Or maybe you’re someone who hasn’t done much writing but is looking for a creative outlet to work through some issues and questions. If any of these describe you, then the TWW might be the right place for you! Open to all youth ages 14-19, with writing materials provided. TWW is taught by two teaching artists who specialist in helping young people find, strengthen, and share their unique voice.
“There is an immeasurable amount of emotion that fills the room every week and it lingers until the next week. The space is needed for teens to have a safe place to share and come together.” –Chris, TWW
“411 in the 413″ Youth Conference - Annually in April—2014 Conference date TBD
Each year, UNITY staff and youth team up with other youth and adults from the Railroad Street Youth Project and the Pittsfield Prevention Partnership to organize this unique opportunity for teenagers from across Berkshire County to gather and explore, debate, and address topics of special interest to young people at YMCA Camp Becket-Chimney Corners. All Berkshire County high schools are invited to send up to 10 students at no cost to enjoy a day of dynamic speakers and creative, interactive workshops offered by community members, teachers, and other youth. We are also always looking for young people to help serve on the planning committee and bring their own vision to table to help make each year’s conference special!
SLAMCAMP - Summer Only—Afternoons in July and August
A 3-week immersion in the art of slam poetry for 14 to 19 year-olds! A TWW alum and Hampshire College student founded this initiative in the summer of 2013 with a group of 10 teen poets. The group learned about the art of slam for a few weeks while preparing pieces to take to competition a the WordXWord literary festival in Pittsfield. We hope to bring this successful camp back in the summer of 2014!
Northern Berkshire Youth Collaborative - 1st Wednesday of each Month, Sept-June, 11am-12:30pm
The NBYC is a monthly meeting of staff from youth-serving organizations and schools that features networking and mini-trainings on youth work topics. Meetings are held in the nbCC conference room from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month, September through June. A light lunch is offered and all community members who are interested in youth issues are welcome to attend. To join the NBYC email list, please contact Kate Merrigan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the offerings above, UNITY staff and youth are available to design and offer workshops and trainings on a variety of youth development tropics. We also love hosting interns of all ages, from high school and up! For more information about UNITY programs, please contact:
Kate Merrigan, UNITY Program Coordinator, at 413-663-7588 or e-mail email@example.com