Special programs at Urban Word NYC are as unique and customized as the school experience itself. Designed to foster interconnectivity among students with communities and like-minded organizations while providing professional development opportunities not traditionally found in public schools, our special programs challenge, entertain and educate while fulfilling mandatory educational requirements.
We partner with the Office of the Mayor of NYC and NYC Votes to host an annual competition to identify a youth ambassador for poetry, community service youth political engagement. Our YPL program is currently being replicated in over 30 cities nationwide.
Creative College Bound (CCB) is UW’s signature college preparation workshop series. Boasting an impressive 85% acceptance rate for youth who commit to the series, CCB is an immersive incubator workshop series that focuses on infusing powerful creative writing into the application process, and covers every step of the application timeline, including a walk through of applications themselves, vigorous scholarship searches, letter of recommendation, and more.
A year-long theater intensive program in partnership with New York Live Arts, Hi-Arts, and Creative Legacies, through which UW youth explore the field of dramaturgy as connected to their work as poets and writers. Our young poets partner with acclaimed actors, directors and choreographers to build a series of one-act performance pieces around their own original writing that premiers at NY Live Arts and the Hi-Arts Theater.
Several times each year, UW partners with elite literary organization for writers of color such as Cave Canem, Kundiman, CantoMundo and Asian American Writers’ Workshop to host events that place one youth poet in conversation and performance with an established, award-winning writer of the same identity.
The Board consists of a group of 12-15 select students who provide leadership, accountability and oversight to our many programs and services. These young leaders hold regular offices hours, meet weekly with our Poet-in-Residence, and facilitate workshops, manage our Open Mic series, and host Town Hall Meetings. All major organizational decisions are made in partnership with our Youth Leadership Board.