The Youth Archivists for Social Change Program (YASC) created a unique opportunity for Holyoke youth to develop media literacy and research skills in partnership with the Holyoke Ethnic Studies program, UMass College of Education, and Wistariahurst Museum. Youth Archivists cataloged over 500 digital artifacts into an archive collection that will be available for research.
The Youth Archivists who were selected are current or former Holyoke Ethnic Studies students. Those who applied to the Youth Archivists for Social Change Program saw themselves as young people open to working collaboratively with museum staff and other Holyoke Ethnic Studies (HES) youth; they saw themselves as critical thinkers and curious learners. They were interested in developing their research skills and in using this work to support the continuation of the Holyoke Ethnic Studies program in their school district.
2023 Youth Archivists for Social Change
I am Heisha Alers (she/her). I like to spend time with my family and talk about my day with them. I also enjoy doing stuff with friends, mostly walking around somewhere, or just hanging out at their place. I am a student at Dean Tech and next year I will be a 10th grader. I love to learn about my community and about other peoples history and culture. I am interested in being a youth archivist this summer because I was really interested to join since I wanted to join something like this but never did, so I took my chance. Also because I was interested in listening to others’ ideas and I enjoy sharing ideas.
I am Zaire (he/him). I love making music as well as deconstructing it, computer programming, biking, and playing sports (mainly wrestling). I am a student at Dean Vocational High School and next year I will be a Sophomore (10th grade). Ethnic Studies matters to me because it shows how history was shaped, especially in an unfiltered sense where you know everything that happened. Sharing opinions on topics like this give you a voice. In history, the youth hasn’t had much of a voice, now we do because we learn and adapt. I am interested in being a youth archivist this summer because it gives the opportunity to make a group, and friends over things we all passionate about. It’s worth being a part of history we’re making.
I am Qua’Nae Golston-Thomas(she/her). I currently spend my time participating in performance arts, like Madrigal Choir and HHS (Holyoke High School) Theatre Company. I often am a mentor and educator for HPS (Holyoke Public Schools) Middle School Students. I am a student at HHS North and next year I will be a Senior. Ethnic Studies matters to me because it is not only a liberating education source, but also a community that focuses on youth leadership. I am interested in being a youth archivist this summer because I want to be more involved in my community, outside of school related activities.
I am Jamieliz Hafer (she/her) I love sleeping and hanging out with my two cats! I am a student at Dean and next year I will be an 11th grader. Ethics Studies matters to me because it gives the chance to feel more connected to my Community as a “White-washed” Puerto Rican. I am interested in being a youth activist this summer because it will give me the chance to learn more and feel a part of history. It will give me a nice and fun job experience and it will be nice to be able to let all ethnic studies history be out to the public to be learned by anyone.
I am Evan Kennedy (he him). I am a student leader. I love video games, editing videos, and most of all animals. I am a student at HHS Dean and next year I will be a Junior. Ethnics Studies matters to me because Ethnic Studies helped form me into the person I am today. If it wasn’t for this curriculum, if it wasn’t for these classes, then I would be a very different person. I would see things in a different way and I am thankful for this program for showing me and guiding me in the direction I am headed. I am interested in being a youth activist this summer because not only will I learn so much about the Ethnic Studies history and learn more about what the curriculum teaches, but I will also have the chance to work with other student leaders.
Marjorie E. Pagán Robles