WILL POWER TO YOUTH PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
Now in its 20th year, Will Power to Youth (WPY) is the highly acclaimed flagship youth development program at SCLA.
WPY combines academics, human relations, job training and art to create a unique summer employment opportunity for youth aged 15-21.
Los Angeles youth – many of whom attend overcrowded urban schools and come from families living at or below the poverty line – are employed 30 hours a week for seven weeks, and work closely with professional artists and human relations facilitators.
Together, they create an unique adaptation of a Shakespeare play that is relevant to, and inspired by, their personal experiences.
WPY empowers youth and is designed to help its participants transition into adulthood. Youth not only thrive in this creative and supportive environment, but also learn first-hand the values of teamwork, a strong work ethic and keeping a positive attitude.
Nationally recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, The U.S. Department of Justice, and First Lady Laura Bush, WPY has been hailed for its effectiveness at addressing unemployment, youth violence, and high-school dropout rates.RESULTS
An independent 2007 study showed WPY participants:
STATISTICS SINCE 1993
- Scored 20% higher on average standardized state-wide English language acquisition tests than their peers
- Showed significant improvement in their high-school GPAs
- Graduated at a rate that more than doubled that of their peers
- 900 participants
- 3,500 hours of graded academic credit
- $560,000 paid in Youth Wages
In the aftermath of the civil unrest in 1992 Los Angeles, WPY was created to meet one of the most basic needs of urban youth: jobs.
Since then, WPY has served teens living below the poverty line, many of whom have little access to theater programs, job training, academic enrichment or other arts opportunities.
In the summer of 2007, WPY went to Richmond, VA. This pilot replication program was supported by a joint venture between the United State Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Endowment for the Arts,
The Shakespeare Center's Youth and Education programs receive support from:
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
- The Herb Alpert Foundation
- The Harry Bronson and Edith R. Knapp Foundation
- Disney VoluntEARS
- The James Collins Foundation
- The Green Foundation
- Sony Pictures Entertainment
- The State Street Foundation
- Sidney Stern Memorial Trust Fund
- Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation
- Shakespeare in American Communities
- The Los Angeles County Arts Commission
- The Cultural Affairs Department, City of Los Angeles
- SCLA's Movers and Shakespeares
- The Shakespeare Center Board of Directors
- Recognized by the National Youth Employment Coalition's Promising and Effective "Best Practices" Network.
- Presented with a "Coming Up Taller" Award by former First Lady Laura Bush on behalf of the National Endowment for the Humanities, President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
- Invited by the Helping America's Youth Initiative to participate as a "Featured Presenter" at their national conference.
- Invited by the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development to participate as a "Featured Presenter" at its 60th Annual Conference, themed Educating the Whole Child
- Launched the Pilot WPY Replication program in Richmond, VA. This program was supported by a Joint Agreement between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency prevention.
- Classified as one of the country's "Top 50 Programs" by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
Applications available now!
- Selected as one of ten arts programs for inclusion in the groundbreaking report titled The Qualities of Quality: Excellence in Arts Education and How to AchieveIt, released by Project Zero, at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.
Education Programs Manager