August 15, 2018WOLFEBORO — The Board of Directors of the Appalachian Mountain Teen Project has decided, with regret, to close its doors. A letter sent to those who have been a part of the program over the past 35 years – teen participants, their family members, board members, staff and supporters within the greater community, announced the decision with "a heavy heart."
The letter sent by the Board of Directors, Executive Director Nathan Boston, and Founder and Director Emerita Donna San Antonio explains, "Over the last three decades, it has become harder and harder to operate an independent, community-based non-profit. We took a long time making this decision, and we explored some alternatives but, in the end, we found we had to make this very difficult decision."
A reception is scheduled to share memories, enjoy food, music, photos and stories and take a look back together on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 85 Bay St. in Wolfeboro, from 4 – 7 p.m.
Boston describes the process as a means to honor the past and inform the public, and bring a sense of closure to the many people who have been touched by the program.
Program highlights enumerated in the letter include: outdoor adventures paddling, backpacking, and camping in 25 states and five Canadian provinces; the opportunity to discuss education and poverty at the New Hampshire State House; the intiation and facilitation of a Youth Summit with guest speaker, Governor Maggie Hassan, to address how Lakes Region teens can identify avenues and solutions for positive change in their communities; and a visit to the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change which was highlighted by a greeting from his widow, Coretta Scott King.
AMTP is proud to have helped implement social-emotional learning in two school districts and encourage hundreds of parents, who participated in parenting courses and support groups. It also initiated "Bridges Day" to facilitate the transition to middle school using experiential activities shared by all the incoming seventh graders advancing from the elementary schools throughout the Governor Wentworth Regional School District.
The Teen Mentor Project, which matches older students with younter students, originated at AMTP and is thriving in the Pittsfield School District, and elements of that program are now a part of other programs offered to students in high school.
The Board and its Directors, past and present, wrote, "Even as we close our doors, we know that our work continues to thrive in the lives of so many people who were touched by AMTP. Thank you for your belief in the promise of youth, for our commitment to AMTP, and for your support that opened doors of opportunity fo rmany hundreds of teens."
The reception on Aug. 18 at 85 Bay St. in Wolfeboro is open to all who would like to share memories of times with AMTP together. Hours are 4 – 7 p.m.