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UW Extension News

Posted on: April 8, 2022

Spring break camp, after-school program to support Black youth

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Extension Kenosha County and the Kenosha Public Library are hosting a spring break camp and after-school program to support Black youth in exploring postsecondary education options.

These programs are an outgrowth of Nia: Pathways and Purpose for the Future, a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin Madison and the historically Black university North Carolina A&T, to support Black youth in eighth through 12th grade to find their purpose after high school.

In Kenosha County, Nia is carried out through a partnership between Extension and the Kenosha Public Library to allow students to explore their skills, interests, and post-secondary options.

While in Nia, youth have the opportunity to work with local mentors and learn about college, professional training, and work options in a fun, hands-on way before making a decision about their futures. Nia helps connect youth with the resources available to pursue their goals and dreams.

Nia kicked things off locally with a trip to Sherman Phoenix Business Incubator in Milwaukee on April 2, and now is continuing with a Spring Break Camp at the Kenosha Southwest Neighborhood Library, 7979 38th Ave., on April 20 and 21.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on each of these days, youth will have the opportunity to have fun and grow their skills. Activities will include a motivational workshop by local business owner and community leader Alvin Owens of Education Youth Development Outreach, which hosts college tours, and Regimen Barber Collective. The youth will engage in a virtual reality headset experience, educational activities about gardening, food, and arts, and career and college preparation services. There will be lunch, snacks, and school supplies provided for free. Programming will be indoors and outdoors, weather provided. Youth in grades seven through 12 are welcome.

After the Spring Break Camp, each Thursday starting April 28, youth are invited to continue with Nia for an after-school program at the Southwest Neighborhood Library. Programming will run from 3 to 6 p.m.; recognizing some students get out of school later than others, youth are invited to join in any time after they get out of school, until 6 p.m. This program will continue through the summer and into next school year.

Programming will include guest speakers, including local leaders and business owners; career and college support services such as resume help, college and job application workshops, interviewing practice and more; and workshops to help youth develop skills and learn about what they might love to do in a career.

In addition, there are opportunities to explore culture through educational trips throughout the community, state, and country. 

Through participation in Nia, youth can earn volunteer service hours by planning the programs and trips and gain incredible leadership skills by serving on the Nia Board. 

Sign up at kenosha.extension.wisc.edu/youth/nia-pathways-and-purpose-for-the-future-kenosha-county or contact Youth Development Educator Erica Ness at [email protected] or 262-857-1934 for more information.

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