Boston-based Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción was honored Tuesday as a recipient of 2016 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award at the White House from First Lady Michelle Obama for its Youth Development Program.
The award, which was received on behalf of IBA by CEO Vanessa Calderón-Rosado and program participant Noemi Negron, recognizes the country’s best after-school and out-of-school creative youth development programs for using engagement in the arts and the humanities to increase academic achievement, graduation rates, and college enrollment.
The 12 recipients — chosen from a pool of more than 251 nominations and 50 finalists — were also recognized for improving literacy and language abilities, communication and performance skills, and cultural awareness. In addition, IBA received $10,000 to support its services and engage more young people from the community.
Another Boston-based organization, True Colors: Out Youth Theater, was also recognized.
“Arts programming and youth development are core parts of our culture at IBA, and we are honored to receive this award today from first lady Michelle Obama,” Calderón-Rosado said. “This service is crucial because it provides low-income young individuals a valuable opportunity they may not have otherwise, to grow and succeed in areas that they are passionate about.”
IBA’s Youth Development Program prepares people ages 13-19 for college and career through an employment-based plan that places them in rigorous courses centered on arts and civic engagement.
Teenagers from underserved, urban communities throughout Boston are given the unique opportunity to develop leadership abilities, confidence, positive relationships, and job skills through participation in high-quality learning experiences.
These workshops span multiple disciplines — theatre, spoken word, photography, printmaking, design, and dance — and are supported by a core focus on the humanities that is realized through meaningful community service. It is situated in the heart of the Villa Victoria, a vibrant affordable housing community in Boston’s South End.