St. Joseph - Benton Harbor's Youth Ambassadors!
Five dedicated young women participated in Stories from Main Street at the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor, Michigan area over the summer. The program has been dubbed Youth Ambassadors and staff at the Museum worked hard to meld SfMS with their collection needs. With a high value already placed on oral histories in their research library, the Museum collaborated with the Ambassadors to preserve the stories of five area locals. In an ingenious twist on typical oral histories, each interview has been edited into a creative “movie trailer” to help researchers and visitors understand the person in each oral history. The trailers were premiered at a Museum event in August which included discussions about how to continue youth programs like the Ambassadors and what topics the community wanted to see covered in the future.
Not only did the Ambassadors have the chance to edit their trailers on new professional equipment housed at the Museum, but they also came away from the projects with a new appreciation for their community. One commented, “Through this program I learned that there is so much history I never knew about such as Whirlpool, shipping companies, and the farming businesses that were once here.” Another participant enjoyed her experience so much that she has continued to volunteer at the Museum throughout the fall. Congratulations Youth Ambassadors—we can’t wait to see what you create next!