About the project
New Era Creative Space (NECS) creates strong communities where young people are active agents who have the social-emotional skills to enact positive change. Their mission is to strive to empower young people to take on leadership roles in their communities. NECS provides many services including a visual and performing arts, nature and environmental programs, STEM, and leadership workshops (EmpowerEd) for middle and high school girls and as part of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative for middle and high school boys. They also provide workshops that address parenting, racial justice and training for staff.
How we help
This year Mona Foundation began providing support for New Era Creative Space (NECS) EmpowerED Girls Leadership Program. National data shows that: 1 in 3 teenage girls is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner; nearly half of students grades 7-12 reported experiencing sexual harassment; and 11.8% of females have been forced to have unwanted sexual activity.
The program serves middle and high school girls and helps them develop the knowledge, skills, and capacities to develop strong and healthy identities. The EmpowerED Girls Leadership Program helps often insecure or vulnerable young women learn to champion their worth and demand gender equality, helps young women and girls figure out who they are and what they care about. Ultimately it helps girls and young women realize that they are valuable human beings.
NECS trains 3 – 5 mentors from the Peekskill high school to be the facilitators of the middle school program. Training covers leadership and facilitation skills, rights of girls and women, culturally responsive teaching and using virtues to guide throughout the sessions. The mentors then meet regularly with our adult supervisor to create and develop each lesson and reflect on how the sessions are going.
In turn the mentors are required to participate in our monthly EmpowerEd workshops for young women, high school and college aged, provided in collaboration with Justine Finn, founder of Relationshift. This program supports high-school aged young women in developing the knowledge, skills and capacities to develop strong and healthy identities; to engage in healthy interpersonal relationships; to and to be champions of their own and others’ equality, respect and safety as leaders in their communities. Topics include: healthy personal and romantic relationships; body image; representation of women in the media; racism and gender inequality; identity development; love and affection and living one’s best life online and on social media, to name a few.
2021 Project Goals
Empower 25 young women
Train 5 teachers