Throughout its 13+ years of operating in the multi-layered city of Newark, YouthBuild Newark (YBN) has observed that genuine change – the kind that multiplies and innovates from generation to generation – requires training individuals to advocate for their communities. A part of that work involves preparing those who have been disenfranchised to contribute to movement-building. Following an anonymous donation, YBN has launched a fellowship program to do just that.
A seasoned photographer who operates his own photography business, Michael Shaw is YBN’s inaugural fellow who dove into the work of the Opportunity Youth Network Re-Engagement Center (REC), including leading art therapy exercises for students experiencing long-term suspension from their assigned schools. Mike also applies his trained eye and technical skills toward capturing students in action. He photographs Mental Toughness Orientations, and other group workshops and activities.
The staff at YBN is investing in Mike to become a builder, convener, and people manager. As someone who exemplifies how YBN works with off-track youth and young men in particular, to find purpose and place, the agency is eager to see how the fellowship continues to promote personal transformation and meets the needs of young people.