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

Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month posted on May 22

Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month

Last year, when Josh Powers saw the Zakim Bridge lit up in blue for autism awareness, he immediately knew what he wanted to do.  He wanted to see the bridge lit with green lights to raise awareness around mental health.  “I want more people to   …Continue Reading Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month

Guest Post From Carolyn Graves posted on May 19

Guest Post From Carolyn Graves

Business owner Carolyn Graves, owner of Cakes & Islands, talks about overcoming her physical challenge to realize her sweet dream. I was born deaf. But with the use of hearing aids, I had some hearing.  Without them I couldn’t hear anything at all. My parents   …Continue Reading Guest Post From Carolyn Graves

DYS Statewide Event Spotlights Youth Success posted on May 14

DYS Statewide Event Spotlights Youth Success

A common challenge for many adolescents is finding healthy outlets where they can explore their interests in constructive ways. For many youth who come into our care and custody, individual access to healthy outlets can sometimes be a significant challenge. One way the Department of   …Continue Reading DYS Statewide Event Spotlights Youth Success