Post Content

By Daisy Gomez-Hugenberger, Communications Coordinator, Department of Youth Services

ASP Kerrin

Studies show that integrating the creative arts into a young person’s life enhances their academic, social, and personal developmental outcomes. The Department of Youth Services (DYS) uses creative arts programming to provide supportive relationships and to build skills that encourages their strengths while fostering their future potential as adults.

Kerrin is living proof that the arts can have a positive impact on a youth’s self-image and self-
esteem. She is doing just that through a collaborative program between the Department of Youth Commissioner Dolan Call Out Quote Services and the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, which provides innovative, statewide arts programing supported by DYS and educational partner the Commonwealth Corporation (Comm. Corp.).

As Kerrin was preparing to reenter the community, DYS staff created a plan that kept her connected to resources through Bridging the Opportunity Gap (BOG), an initiative that provides employment-related services for youth returning to their communities following residential treatment. Once home, Kerrin continued learning from the Actors’ Shakespeare Project and began a three month theatre intensive, attending rehearsals at The Charlestown Working Theater two to three times each week and working alongside teens from local high schools and the professional actors.

The moment arrived when her doubts and fears would dissolve on the stage and Kerrin played several characters during the three night production of Shakespeare’s Henry V, keeping her on stage throughout the entire two-hour performance.

Kerrin credits her DYS caseworker, Jayson Griffin and Actors’ Shakespeare Project instructor, Lori Taylor, with supporting her throughout this entire process: “They never lost faith in me and that made me want to work harder to memorize all my lines and have a good performance. There were times when I was nervous but this experience taught me that you have keep going and push through.”

Dolan at Mayor Menino ASP Press Conference

Demonstrating the value of this important creative arts partnership, last month Commissioner Ed Dolan joined Mayor Thomas M. Menino to announce that the City of Boston will support the Actors’ Shakespeare Project by hosting a production of Romeo and Juliet Boston’s Strand Theatre in Dorchester.

With support from DYS staff and education providers, Kerrin currently is working with the Actors’ Shakespeare Project as a theatre intern and is excited to continue her involvement in the performing arts.

Written By:


Recent Posts

Celebrate Mental Health Month with DMH on Twitter posted on Apr 27

Celebrate Mental Health Month with DMH on Twitter

31 Days of May – #MentalHealthMonth May is Mental Health Month and this is the time of year when the Department of Mental Health (DMH) observes and celebrates the importance of how much mental health matters to all of us. Each day in May, we will   …Continue Reading Celebrate Mental Health Month with DMH on Twitter

Executive Office Approves New Leaders for Elder Affairs, Transitional Assistance posted on Apr 22

Executive Office Approves New Leaders for Elder Affairs, Transitional Assistance

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services recently announced appointments in two key positions – the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and Department of Transitional Assistance. We are pleased to welcome Secretary Alice Bonner and Commissioner Jeff McCue. Alice Bonner is a nationally known   …Continue Reading Executive Office Approves New Leaders for Elder Affairs, Transitional Assistance

THE OPIOID CRISIS: Governor’s Working Group Hears From The Community posted on Apr 9

THE OPIOID CRISIS: Governor’s Working Group Hears From The Community

Four listening sessions. Hundreds of voices. “My daughter felt ashamed, isolated. Stigma keeps kids from getting help.” -Jennifer “We need to create compelling reasons for parents to come to the table and have conversations and we are not talking about middle school and high school.   …Continue Reading THE OPIOID CRISIS: Governor’s Working Group Hears From The Community