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

What You Need to Know about MassOptions! posted on Nov 25

What You Need to Know about MassOptions!

The number of older adults and individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts is rapidly growing. We know that navigating programs and services can sometimes be complicated, and we are committed to facilitating better access for the people we serve. That is why the Baker-Polito Administration along   …Continue Reading What You Need to Know about MassOptions!

A picture is worth a thousand words… posted on Nov 24

A picture is worth a thousand words…

A picture is worth a thousand words.  It also could be worth a new home for a child in need. “There is something about seeing the face of a child awaiting adoption that speaks to the heart,” said Jake Murtaugh with MARE, Inc. “Each picture   …Continue Reading A picture is worth a thousand words…

Women Veterans Recognized for Service and Strong Network at Appreciation Event posted on Nov 10

Women Veterans Recognized for Service and Strong Network at Appreciation Event

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is proud to honor all of those who have served our country in the armed forces this Veteran’s Day. Massachusetts is also proud to have a strong Women Veteran’s Network that acts as a central resource for women veterans. Established in   …Continue Reading Women Veterans Recognized for Service and Strong Network at Appreciation Event