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#VoicesToVerses Creating an Outlet for Boys Town Youth

Boys Town New York has partnered with Lincoln Center Education’s Community and Family Programs to provide an artistic and creative outlet called the Poet-Linc Program, for youth in detention.

Combining spoken word, Hip Hop, and elements of the poetry slam, the Poet-Linc Program creates a vibrant environment for blossoming poets. With more than 3,000 children receiving detention services from the NYC Administration for Child Services (ACS), there is a great need for a creative outlet and this program does just that.

Several teenagers from Boys Town New York attended the Poet-Linc Program to express reflections of themselves and the world. Following the poetry’s creation came #VoicesToVerses, a series that shares the poems written by these youth. Throughout the summer, Chirlane McCray, the First Lady of New York, used the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to share several pieces. Three Boys Town New York poets were featured in her posts! It is a great honor for their voices to be heard by so many.

Read their featured poetry below:

Celebration Poem by Boys Town Youth

Won’t you celebrate with me / for my state of mind. For / my personality that’s oh so kind. / For my shiny dark hair that / blows in the wind. For / all the times I forgive / my sins. For my talent that’ll / never stop, never stop till I / reach the top. For my strength / that keeps me going. Won’t / you celebrate with me / I will continue growing.

Love song in the hood by Boys Town Youth

I can hold you at night / if I don’t stay out / I can promise to protect you from the streets of Brooklyn / I can teach you whatever you wanna know / I can call you beautiful & tell you I love you every day / One day, I can take you to explore the world / take you anywhere you wanna go. Maybe not the world right now, but I can take you to the zoo or maybe a fancy restaurant. / We can hold each other down. Till death do us part. / I can’t promise you the world, but I’m always gonna be there.

Untitled by Boys Town Youth

Every day of my life someone / tells me that I am never going to be successful / but I keep pushing / obstacles in my way I am trying to overcome the burden I can / never walk away everyone / is laughing saying that there / is no bed for me to lay in, / but I always say to myself / I am going to be proud one day

Boys Town New York is so proud of all of our youth’s work in this program. Thank you to Lincoln Center’s Poet-Linc for providing programs that allow these teenagers to express their thoughts, emotions, and vision of the world. We look forward to continuing to provide this outlet of expression and confidence-building. Every voice has a right to be heard. Every voice deserves a chance to be heard.

Donate today to ensure more programs like this are available to the girls and boys in our programs!