What is the Junior Docent Program?
The Junior Docent Program trains Yonkers high school students to become leaders, thinkers, professionals, and contributing members of the Yonkers community. The Program aims to enhance students' appreciation of art and culture, while enabling them to practice professional skills and work toward becoming museum employees. The Junior Docent Program fosters peer mentoring and a sense of camaraderie among students, and it creates an atmosphere that encourages them to learn from each other as well as from the Hudson River Museum's staff and collection.
As part of their training, Junior Docents meet with curators, artists, historians, scientists, educators, and other professionals, participate in interactive skill-building experiences, take trips to museums and galleries, host students from local community organizations, and collaborate with other museum youth programs. In addition, they use museum resources to design tours and workshops for peers and families that relate to the Hudson River Museum's permanent collection and rotating special exhibitions.
For over 20 years, 100% of Junior Docents who have participated in the Program through high school have been accepted to college. The Program prepares participants with a special College Readiness Series, which includes talks, panels, and presentations, as well as trips to universities.
Beginning as Foundation Junior Docents, all participants are required to volunteer one weekend day a month, working with families in the workshops and galleries. After having completed one full year of the Program, participants are then qualified to be paid for their work. In addition, during their senior year, Junior Docents can apply for the Summer Camp Manager position, supervising fellow Junior Docents and overseeing the Museum's summer programs for camps. Upon graduation, they can apply to supervise Junior Docents at special events and on weekends. In the past, Junior Docents have gone on to hold positions in various departments at the Hudson River Museum, including Curatorial, Education, Finance, and Visitor Services.
The Junior Docent Program is uniquely student-driven. The Advisory Board of Junior Docents meets monthly to discuss program activities, plan upcoming events, and approve specific projects. They are also involved in the recruitment, interviewing, and selection of new Junior Docents each year.
The Junior Docent Program has a large alumni presence made up of former participants who actively continue their relationship with the Museum after graduation. Alumni of the Junior Docent Program have gone on to attend such colleges as: Binghamton University, Brown University, The City College of New York, Columbia University, George Washington University, Hunter College, Manhattan College, New York University, Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, and Stony Brook University.
To be admitted to the Program, you must be a freshman or sophomore at a Yonkers Public High School. Recruitment takes place September through October. To apply, please fill out and submit an application (download here) and schedule an afterschool interview at the Museum. The deadline to apply for this year is Saturday, October 21, 2017.
Araya Henry, Manager of Youth and Family Programs
Phone: (914) 963-4550 x219
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