Project Destiny has chosen its very own Alpaca, Z-Rex, as our mascot and he lives at the Four Points Alpaca Farm. The children love visiting him at the farm. Z-Rex has won 2 awards.
Prepared Care Boxes for college students in time for Valentine’s Day. Twenty-two boxes were prepared.
Project Destiny Valentine Party planned by youth. Everyone dressed in their Sunday best and had great food and music for the 50 party goers.
Spoken Word: Teens shared their talents with poetry recitals and musical presentations.
New York Trip: Five students, ages 14 -16 attended the Native American Film & Video Festival at the Smithsonian Institution in New York City.
Students spent an evening with Klee Benally and several of his friends, family, and colleagues who were presenting their work at the festival. Students met with members of “Outta Your backpack Media”. Since 2004 Outta Your Backpack Media (OYBMedia) has empowered Indigenous youth through free movie making workshops and resource distribution. OYBMedia is an indigenous youth response to the need for media justice in communities. They seek to create community ownership of media through youth empowerment. OYBMedia is an all-volunteer collective that has become very efficient at using its resources. They emphasize being a creative and resourceful community-supported/sustained organization. Because their investment in youth so closely mirrors Project Destiny’s mission we are pleased to work with this agency and support their efforts where we can.
Babysitting 101: Fifteen (15) middle school students had a four hour course in child care. Instructors came from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and certificates were presented.
Underground Railroad: in Cincinnati Ohio was the destination for Project Destiny students and parents. Sixty (60) people went on the trip.
Easter Egg Hunt for 75 community children
Teen Summit: A panel of youth workers, teachers, youth, clergy, and parents answered questions concerning relationships, college, employment, violence, bullying, and peer pressure. Forty-two Care Team students and community youth were present.
College Resource Fair: Thirteen colleges and universities were represented. 75-100 high school students and parents enjoyed workshops on Financial Aid and Student Life
Florida - Seagrove Beach: 19 students and staff enjoyed beautiful beach houses, sunrise, sunset and water, water everywhere. Included this year were 4 students and 2 chaperones from Laguna, New Mexico
Camp Destiny: Theme - Under the Big Top
Six weeks of exploring and learning. This year’s activities included: swimming, weekly field trips which connected with our theme and educational goals. We had our first trip to ICC (International Conservation Center). This was our first over-night stay since we had to wait for the cabins to be delivered. It was a great experience. Nature walks, an evening camp fire, and touring the facility were just a few of the fun things. The elephants were not out during our visit, but we heard a lot about Jackson and his two new female friends.
Ed Mine: coal mine near Tarentum, PA. A great place to explore and a nice cool place to be in July
Baseball: Our special tour of PNC Park. We even got a chance to sit in the dugout.
Four Points Alpacas: Children visited the farm and “their own” Z-Rex. They were allowed close enough to the alpacas to pet, feed, and take pictures. Our special thanks to Don and Jan Phillips the owners of Four Points for their hospitality.
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium: A very special “Behind the Scenes” visit at the Zoo. Margie Marks the zoo curator for education gave a guided tour of the elephants, painted dogs, polar bears, and more. The children talked with the zoo staff and were even allowed to pet the young elephants.
Back to School Rally: 75 students attended and received pencils, rulers, notebooks, and book bags to prepare them for the first day of school
NOOK (Nurturing Our Own Kids): Our parent support group held their meeting for planning the calendar year 2009-2010. Topics discussed were: healthy eating for the family, resume writing, finding employment for persons with criminal records, blended families.
Meet and Greet: Project Destiny hosted students between the ages of 10 and 14 from various part of Pittsburgh to talk about their neighborhoods and identify things they had in common. The program consisted of discussions about healthy food and life choices. Later students visited the Pittsburgh Project. A total of fifty-two (52) students attended.
Workshop on HIV/AIDS: Fifteen children ages 14 and up took part in this workshop. Our facilitator, a 40 year old woman who contracted HIV at the age of 16 shared her personal experiences
African Painted Dogs: Presentation by Dr. Greg Rasmussen, Director of the painted dog conservancy in Zimbabwe and an expert on the African painted dog spoke to more than 50 Project Destiny kids, parents, and friends. It was amazing to hear about how these animals have specialized tasks in the pack and how they nuture and take care of each other and their young. Children and parents had many questions for Greg and the evening was a great success.
Dr. Greg Rasmussen
New Arrivals: We were very excited to hear about the birth of the new African painted puppies at the zoo but sad when we heard their mom died and a few of her puppies were too weak to survive. It is truly wonderful that these dogs are being saved. Everyone was also very happy to hear that the surrogate mother Honey who was nursing the remaining puppies found a wonderful loving home.
One of the new African painted puppies at the zoo.
“Positive Youth Leadership in Difficult times”: This event was sponsored by the Pittsburgh Youth Network. Young adults from Project Destiny and all over the Pittsburgh area attended.
Family Harvest Celebration: Families enjoyed an evening of pumpkin decorating contests, games, food, and a sleepover was provided for kids.
Art in Mind: A beginners drawing class for kids 8-14 years of age was held and will continue each week for eleven weeks. The class focuses on development of the creative mind through right brain exercises, music and drawing instruction. An art show of the children’s work will be held at the end of the series of classes.
Artwork by some of the Project Destiny kids.
Youth Connecting Our Community: Redrawing the Map- Youth Voices is an arts program where girls from the greater North Side community come together and create a piece of public art. The process begins with drawing a map of their neighborhood and then expands to making a video.
Two new programs will begin at Project Destiny this month. The first is TWOgether Pittsburgh which will focus on helping couples strengthen their relationships and the second is the Fatherhood Initiative which will bring men together to discuss various issues around parenting and building positive relationships with their children.
Christmas Party at Destiny: We had approximately 200 parents and children attend this year’s event. Families enjoyed good food and fellowship and Santa and his rain deer also came with Dora the Explorer to entertain the families. Each child received an early gift from Santa and they were delighted by the toy train with all its bells and whistles. The evening was a great success.