YAG member prepares artwork for display.
Our program began over twenty years ago when a group of community leaders realized that it was important for rural youth to have their own camp. From that point on, a federation of programs has arisen – all rooted in the belief that if young people are truly respected and given the support and tools they need, they will be able to create opportunities for themselves while bringing about change in their communities.
Our programs are rooted in experiential education that enables participants to learn while they are working for change, and all the while developing the leadership skills to continue affecting change for years to come.
It is not easy serving as an ally to rural youth. In addition to many of the traditional barriers of racism, adultism and poverty, many of our youth are first generation immigrants, and so they face language and cultural barriers. Often their parents are unfamiliar with the political and education systems of New York, and that combined with language barriers makes it difficult to be an ally within these systems. There are also the realities of living in rural New York, where there are few resources, little public transportation and a deep isolation. Nonetheless, there is a remarkable determination among the people of RMM to work for change and to create opportunities.
Take a look at some of our programs and you will see that we have impacted the lives of thousands.