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College Visits with IECA

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SiennaCollegeTour2016In February 2016, juniors and seniors from all of The Possibility Project’s programs, many of whom had never visited a college campus, visited Siena College in Albany, NY. During the visit, our youth received a guided tour of the campus and had the opportunity to speak with current Siena students—including Laniqua Mack, a TPP Foster Care Program alum—and have a Q&A session with an admissions counselor.

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New Collaborations

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JoeTorreSAH-150Joe Torre Safe at Home – The Possibility Project will be providing arts and violence prevention training to youth in a multi-service program for abuse survivors that is part of Safe at Home’s community violence prevention initiative. Programming will take place at Margaret’s Place, an in-school safe space for violence survivors, in one middle school and one high school. Artistic Director Meagan DuBois will lead the trainings and working with youth to bring their stories to the stage in their communities.

CAI-Global-150CAI Global – TPP youth and staff are advising CAI curriculum developers on the messaging for trainings they are developing for foster care youth. These trainings are focused on pregnancy/STI prevention and are intended for use with young men. Youth are also participating in focus groups to provide insights on the issues involved. Possibility Project staff members are also advising CAI trainers on messaging and approach to conducting these trainings.

Young Professionals Raise $6K

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YPC-EventOn September 10th our Young Professionals Committee had their first fundraiser at People Lounge, and it was a huge success. We sold 125 tickets, raffled off 22 prizes donated by local business, and raised over $6,000 for our programs. During the event, a few of our alumni spoke about their experience with our program and what it means to them. It was a great opportunity to share what we do and have fun while doing it.

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Party at People: A YPC Event

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Please join the Young Professionals Committee on September 10, from 7-10 pm at People Lounge for a fundraiser to support the amazing efforts of The Possibility Project. The Possibility Project is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization operating four programs for youth in New York City that empowers them to transform the negative forces in their lives into positive action. Using the performing arts and community action as vehicles, our teenagers learn to build relationships across differences, resolve conflicts without violence, take on their responsibility to others, and lead.

But we can’t do this important work without your support!

Your contribution of $40 gets you two free drinks, appetizers, and a fun night of music, raffles, and partying with other New Yorkers who care about the future of our city and the young people in it. Space is limited – buy your tickets now!

163 Allen St.
(between Stanton and Rivington)

Hiring: Ticketing Assistant

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The Possibility Project is seeking a brilliant individual to serve as Ticketing Assistant for our two Spring productions, “In Theory” and “Borderline.”

***This is a temporary freelance position with a possibility for future engagement.***

Please apply by April 29, 2015.

Description: The Ticketing Assistant will be responsible for processing pre-sales and box office transactions for our next two original musicals, both written and performed by NYC teenagers. The position includes three primary functions:

1) Communicating with schools, non-profits, and foster care agency representatives who will bring groups of youth to the event, and working with our teenagers who will sell tickets to their friends and families in the weeks leading up to their show.

2) Entering all data into ticketing system (a combination of Eventbrite and Google Sheets), making and reconciling deposits, and producing real-time reports for staff (daily and post-show).

3) Managing Will-Call and Box Office on show nights.

Qualifications / Requirements: We’re looking for someone who…
…is super organized, thorough and detail-oriented
…is able to handle all kinds of personalities
…is charming and likable
…is flexible and easy-going but understands urgency
…has solid judgment, patience, sensitivity, and a sense of humor
…can type fast and has has a strong knowledge of Excel/Google Sheets (VERY IMPORTANT)

Required Availability: Applicants must be available on both weekends and weekdays – mostly afternoons – between Saturday May 2 and June 20, 2015. Full schedule will be sent to qualifying applicants, however, during the weeks of May 18-23 and June 15-20, applicants *must* be available every day from 1pm-10pm (non-negotiable).

How to Apply: Please email a resume and brief cover letter (inline is fine) to Kelly Claus, Director of Operations – kelly@the-possibility-project.org. Applicants should tell us who they are and why they feel they are a good candidate for this specific position, esp. re: knowledge of and experience with Excel.

Individuals interested in working with us in an artistic/program capacity should not apply. This is strictly an administrative position.

100% College Bound

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90% of our 12th graders go on to college. Our aim now is for 100% of them to attend college and to land in schools that best meet their needs and support their aspirations. So…this year, we have implemented a partnership with the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) to do just that.

Led by Marilyn Emerson, former President of the IECA Board of Directors, a team of counselors is now providing pro bono, one-on-one college counseling to 15 Possibility Project 11th and 12th graders and their parents each year. Our teenagers will work individually with their counselors to gain assistance on college essays and applications, apply for scholarships and financial aid, and prepare for the SATs. This February, all of our participating 11th graders (and some of our 12th graders) will have an opportunity to tour two different college campuses in update New York. The trip is sponsored by the IECA Foundation.

We are very grateful for this invaluable partnership and look forward to seeing 100% of our TPP participants enrolled in the colleges of their choice. For more information on the Independent Educational Consultants Association, visit their website at www.iecaonline.com.

Three Original Musicals in 2014

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Over three weeks this year, over 3,000 people packed into off-Broadway theatres to witness an abundance of honesty, hope and resilience presented by the teenagers in our three programs.

These three original musicals were created by 139 NYC teenagers and played to sold out houses of families, friends, and community members. Every show was unique in its depiction of the challenges young people face and their ideas for change. Each show was received with a standing ovation as audiences were on their feet in support of our teenagers call for a better world. We are so proud of the hope our youth are creating and their vision for change. Check out show information and reviews below…

“Uproute” followed Jess and Elijah as they navigated their way through a city that is constantly changing. Throughout the show, those changes took on new meaning. Where do young people go when every inch of this city seems to be claimed and reclaimed? Can they survive these changing times? Can the city?

Audience Feedback:
• “I wasn’t expecting this show. It was beautiful and hard to watch. The stories are incredible.”
• “Amazing, touching, real from the perspective of what our children are facing daily.”
• “The performance was wonderful. The emotions and actions of these performers was felt from my seat. This performance has made me think more about my life.”

View photos from “Uproute” performances.
View photos from “Uproute” rehearsals.

“Versus” followed two aspiring rappers with dreams for the future. Saphire and Gio are best friends trying to make it out of their neighborhood. Using their fans’ lives as inspiration for their latest material, they examined the struggles – poverty, neglect, discrimination, loss – that youth in New York City face every day. Would these two friends have it all without leaving one another behind? And if so, what does that mean for everyone else in their neighborhood?

Audience Feedback:
• “I was great to see teenagers creatively show everyone what it is like dealing with the issues they face.”
• “Impressive is the only word that applies to the cast, and crew. It’s amazing seeing how talented and hardworking these teenagers are.”
• “The struggle is real but one person can change anything.”

View photos from “Versus” performances.
View photos from “Versus” rehearsals.

“Take it from the Top” In New York City it is easy to feel invisible. For Sebastian and his sister Lola this was especially true. As they each pursued different paths to leave their mark on the world, they were confronted with violence, loss, betrayal, and the ever-deepening question of their own self-worth. Would they find a way to truly be seen or end up alone and forgotten?

Audience Feedback:
• “It was such an overwhelming/ powerful performance! So much passion, it was truly amazing.”
• “Fantastic job amazing energy, powerful stories, and I also liked the fact that different people interpreted other cast members stories.”
• “I am so impressed by the work this program is creating.”

View photos from “Take it from the Top” performances.
View photos from “Take it from the Top” rehearsals.

Our Foster Care Impact

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With the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, we will be conducting an evaluation of our Foster Care Program in 2015. The project will examine our program’s long-term impact on youth in care. The research will focus on alumni from the Foster Care Program and the quality of their lives since their participation. Quantitative and qualitative methods will be used to produce a full picture of their lives and strive to captureThe Possibility Project’s effect on their current circumstances, challenges, and achievements.

Dr. Michael Hatchett Hanson of Teachers’ College of Columbia University will lead the project with support from graduate students at the college. Research findings will be available in 2016.

Changing Foster Care

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We introduced our foster care film “Know How” to audiences at film festivals this year to generate awareness of its release in 2015. We were selected for 17 festivals, captured 10 awards and won Project of the Year on IndieWire – our favorite moment was Claribelle Pagan winning the Best Leading Actress award at the Madrid International Film Festival. These awards and festival selections are bringing much-needed attention to the voices of foster care youth and the need for change.

We also conducted 6 private screenings for the leadership of NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), the municipal agency overseeing the city’s foster care system, and all 240 attorneys who represent ACS. Each showing was followed by an hour-long Q&A with the youth cast. The candid discussions were enlightening for our youth and for the ACS teams. We plan to hold more community screenings like this for ACS in the upcoming year. Below is a list of Festivals and Awards that “Know How” has been selected and recognized in.

Festivals and Awards

IndieWire (Project of the Year) • Cinequest Film Festival • Garden State Film Festival (Broader Vision Award) • Kansas City Film Festival • Maryland International Film Festival • Canada International Film Festival (Award of Excellence) • British Independent Film Festival • New York City International Film Festival (Best NYC Feature Film) • San Francisco Black Film Festival • Manhattan Film Festival • Madrid International Film Festival (Best Leading Actress, Claribelle Pagan; Best Hair & Make-Up) • Kahbang Film Festival • Harlem International Film Festival (Spotlight Award) • Minneapolis Underground Film Festival (Best Soundtrack) • Indie Fest (Award of Excellence) • New Hampshire Film Festival • Orlando Film Festival • Eugene International Film Festival (Best Youth Theme Feature)

Visit the “Know How” website.

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