Learning Dreams and Hennepin County Libraries are providing learning opportunities for young people.

In our years of partnership with the Youth Opportunity Center at YouthLink (YOC), Learning Dreams has met many talented and creative young people who spend their time in downtown Minneapolis. By teaming up with the Minneapolis Central Library, we have helped connect two cohorts of emerging adults (ages 20-25) to the tools and resources available at the Best Buy Teen Tech Center (TTC) during its inactive, school-time hours.

Participants use their time in the Tech Center to engage with a variety of tools, resources, and mentors typically inaccessible for the cohort age group. In addition to working on their individual goals, the young men and women worked with Learning Dreams and Intermedia Arts to design, film, and edit a video offering advice to those hoping to support the growth and well-being of young people and describing the importance of these types of experiences, resources and opportunities. The cohort concluded their year by hosting a final celebration where participants shared creative accomplishments, screened the completed “What Matters” video, and opened a dialogue to build understanding within the library and the wider community. Check out their work and hear their advice:

In their exit interviews, cohort members described: increase in productive versus idle time; learning to use new tools, building new technical skills, and improving existing skills; increased capacity for teamwork and accountability; and experience sense of safety in both the environment as well as in the ability to process emotions through artistic expression.

Here are a couple quotes from our fall 2015 Tech Center participants:

“It gave me a free creative space, occupied my time with productivity, and taught me about tools I was unfamiliar with.”
“This opportunity helped me further my skills in my creative process and being in a space with likeminded artists helped me grow as well.”
“[The experience] gave me more of a grasp on the impact this space can have on the community.”