Left to Right: High Line Teen Leaders Tia, Susana, Alice, Naylin and Will. Not pictured: Damary. Photo by Liz Ligon.
High Line Teen programs offer paid job opportunities for local youth in cultural production, horticulture, and education. In February we welcomed 24 teens – selected from an applicant pool of nearly 200 – to participate in two programs: Green Corps and Teen Arts Council (TAC). Both groups will log more than 175 hours with Friends of the High Line, from February through August, gaining expertise in their fields, cultivating leadership skills, and forming relationships with community-based organizations in their neighborhood.
Green Corps members will learn about plant science, work alongside High Line Gardeners, and care for local community gardens. TAC members will attend cultural events across the city, and produce two Teen Nights in the park that attract over 700 teens each year.
We sat down with Green Corps Leaders Tia, Susana, and Alice and TAC Leaders Naylin, Will, and Damary to chat about what they're looking forward to this year.
Friends of the High Line: How are teen programs bigger and better this year?
Will: With new leaders and members, we've got fresh ideas and new perspectives on the High Line.
Damary: Members of the program are also given more work hours this year. With more hours, we'll be able to spend more time planning out events and making them better than before.
FHL: How is it different working as a Leader?
Naylin: For starters, we've been able to experience the interview process. Being able to have a voice and assist in hiring our Educator has been a very cool and challenging task.
Alice: I'm looking forward to being a Leader. It will sharpen my leadership and communication skills.
FHL: What can we look forward to from Teen Programs in 2015?
Tia: You can look forward to seeing a lot of Green Corps working together to make the High Line an even better experience.
Susana: I'm looking forward to going through a variety of ways to learn more about plants, and [working on] projects that will benefit ourselves and the community.
Naylin: In Teen Arts Council this year, we are hoping to extend our teen audience and produce the two largest teen nights the High Line has ever seen.
Will: Together, we have an understanding of the platform Friends of the High Line provides us to not only throw amazing events, but also to educate and empower teens in the greatest city in the world.
High Line Teen programs—part of High Line Community Engagement—are generously supported by the Ford Foundation.