SYTA Youth Foundation and Partners Welcome THREAD Students for a Silver Lining Program Trip to Birmingham, Alabama

SYTA Youth Foundation and Partners Welcome THREAD Students for a Silver Lining Program Trip to Birmingham, Alabama

In October of 2018, 21 students from Baltimore’s Thread program traveled on a Silver Lining trip to Birmingham, Alabama, to experience the sights and spirit of the Magic City.

Coordinated thanks to Hemisphere Educational Travel and the Greater Birmingham CVB and partners, the trip was a deeply impactful experience that spoke to students and volunteers alike.

The Silver Lining Program mission is to recognize deserving students who have demonstrated through their action, intention or circumstance the desire to expand their awareness, creating a dramatic life change. A perfect complement to this mission is Thread. The organization engages underperforming high school students confronting significant barriers outside of the classroom by providing each one with a family of committed volunteers and increased access to community resources. Thread fosters students’ academic advancement and personal growth into self-motivated, resilient, and responsible citizens.

Thread program students were selected for the trip based on a variety of factors, including opportunities they've had within the organization, high school attendance, interest in travel and the content of the trip, and more.

While in Birmingham, students were able to visit several Civil Rights Movement landmarks, including Kelly Ingram Park, 16th Street Baptist Church, Bethel Baptist Church, and more.

At the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, students were able to take a walking journey through the "living institution," which displays the lessons of the past as a positive way to chart new directions for the future. The institute’s permanent exhibitions are a self-directed journey through Birmingham's contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and human rights struggles during the 1950s and 1960s. Additionally, students explored multimedia exhibitions that focused on the history of African-American life and the struggle for civil rights. The Oral History Project, one of the museum's multimedia exhibits, documents Birmingham's role in the Civil Rights Movement through the voices of movement participants.

Later, students continued their history lesson by traveling to Selma to cross the Edmund Pettis Bridge and

hear firsthand about the Movement that changed the landscape of America. Dexter Avenue Church and the Legacy Museum in Montgomery also added to their journey.

Casey A. Lawson, Experiential Learning and Professional Development Program Manager, Thread, thought the trip was “amazing.”

“For me, having everything planned out and taken care of really allowed for me to focus on our people and that students and volunteers alike had the opportunity to really experience the history they were seeing,” said Lawson. “Further, students and volunteers were able to have a shared experience, build and strengthen relationships, and add to their own personal stories.”

Local partners who contributed transportation, accommodations, attraction passes, tours and meals include: 16th Street Baptist Church Tours; Academy Bus; Air Travel Group; Barry McNally Tours; Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; Dexter Avenue Church Tours; Doubletree by Hilton Birmingham; Greater Birmingham CVB; Hemisphere Educational Travel; Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ; Journey For the Soul with Joanne Bland; Kelly Ingram Park; Legacy Museum; McWane; Science Center; Prideline Buses; Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University; Sloss Furnace; Trussville Playstation; US. Security Associates; Visit Baltimore; and Vulcan Park & Museum.

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