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Yonkers Mayor Spano Congratulates Hudson River Museum's Junior Docents

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano presenting Proclamation, with (from left) Aisha Yusuf, program coordinator and interim manager of Youth & Family Programs; and Junior Docents Toni Jackson and Emanual Phillip. Photo Credit: Contributed
Aisha Yusuf stands among Junior Docents, with Mayor Mike Spano (fourth from right); Hudson River Museum Director Michael Botwinick; City Councilman Christopher Johnson; and Richard Halevy, museum director of Community Development. Photo Credit: Contributed

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano honored teenagers in the Hudson River Museum’s Junior Docent program at a ceremony on June 25, marking the 20th year of the highly successful initiative that teaches city high school students to be museum guides and art and science instructors.

“From the Hudson River Museum to Yonkers Arts Weekend and new street art to new artists moving to Yonkers, there has been an explosion of arts activity in our city. The Junior Docent Program connects our students to the arts with great success as evidenced by the fact that one hundred percent of program participants go on to attend college. I want to thank the Hudson River Museum for their commitment to Yonkers and our public school students,” said Spano, who handed certificates to 20 of the Junior Docents present for the ceremony in the museum’s Joyce Greene Education Center.

Spano also presented a proclamation declaring the day “Junior Docent Program Day.”

“Attending a large high school, I needed a small community to provide me with an intimate adolescent experience, a home, and a sense of belonging,” said Aisha Yusuf, who went through the program and is now the coordinator and Interim Manager of Youth & Family Programs for the museum.

Junior Docents Emanual Phillip and Toni Jackson also spoke at the event.

Founded in 1995, the Junior Docent Program has become a vital asset to the Yonkers community as well as the Hudson River Museum. Students who enroll receive training from artists, curators, scientists, historians and other experts, which enables them to lead programs and tours for museum visitors.

Junior Docents must attend a two-hour training session each week, and must commit to one weekend day per month working with families in the museum workshops and galleries. After a year, they can qualify to be paid minimum wage for their time.

“The Hudson River Museum is very proud to have this program and to give these students the opportunity to learn from both the museum’s collection and its staff,” said Hudson River Museum Director Michael Botwinick.

For more information, call the museum at (914) 963-4550.

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