News Releases

CATC begins 10th year of changing lives, announces 93% graduation rate

“The Hero’s Journey” is reflective study theme as 2013-14 studios begin     
     Cincinnati, September 23,  2013 –  Students of the Cincinnati Arts & Technology Center –including 10 students who have returned from their trip of a lifetime to Yellowstone National Park–begin their 2013-2014  art classes all this week at CATC studios in Longworth Hall.  
     For the first semester of the agency’s 10th year in operation, the theme of study–and of reflection for the agency itself–is “The Hero’s Journey.” It is based on writer Joseph Campbell’s framework for accountability in which everyone is the hero of his or her own life, and one’s growth is achieved or prevented by how one responds to challenges.
     “With The Hero’s Journey, we’re taking this time for reflection even as we celebrate the start of our 10th year and think back on the nearly 3,000 young lives we’ve helped to change,” said CATC CEO Clara Martin. “It provides a template to understand where we are in our journey and to identify our paths to continued growth.”
     The 10 students returning from Yellowstone applied “The Hero’s Journey” to their experiences there. “Just leaving the city and flying on a plane for the first time in their lives was daunting for most of the students,” said Martin, adding that a few days later they worked as a team to tackle a demanding climb up the highest peak at Yellowstone.  They will carry the Heroes Journey study into their work at CATC this semester, expressing their journey in their art, mentoring other CATC students and passing along insights gained at Yellowstone.
     Facing a cliff, building a bridge; CATC is on a journey, too
      Most CATC students–89%–achieve success by proceeding to the next grade or graduating, and 93% of CATC seniors graduate. “But most of our students also face great challenges after they leave our program,” said Martin. The Hero’s Journey-based curriculum gives them tools to recognize what is happening in their lives, take action and stay on course, she adds, “including learning how to identify enemies, gather allies, or conquer fear when a challenge seems too great.”
     One of the challenges CATC faced several years ago was the realization that many urban teens, once cut off from resources and supports available in high school, face a metaphorical cliff. They struggle to succeed in the workforce or higher education; many struggle to stay off public assistance. 
     As a result CATC and partner Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center created “Bridging the Gap,” a workforce development program that trains CATC students in both the life skills and job skills needed to succeed in the workplace. It focuses on fields where there are worker shortages, like nursing, and continues supports for at least the first year on the job.
     “There were no roadmaps for a workforce development program like this when we started,” said Lee Carter, CATC chairman and co-founder. “So the journey has been filled with challenges, making mistakes, and learning from them.” Bridging the Gap boasts an 89% employment retention rate in the traditionally high turnover position of nursing assistants. “But we can always do better,” said Martin, “and we’ll use the discipline and thoughtfulness of “The Hero’s Journey to ensure we do just that.”
      About the Cincinnati Arts & Technology Center
The Cincinnati Arts & Technology Center (CATC) is a non-profit (501c3) entity which, in partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS), has a proven track record for using the arts to keep at-risk students in school, enabling them to graduate, and preparing them for success in life. All students are from CPS high schools. Most are juniors or seniors whose credits are likely to be insufficient for graduation, or freshmen or sophomores whose peers of the same age have advanced to higher grades.  CATC is patterned after the highly successful Manchester Bidwell Training Center in Pittsburgh, and is a model for national replication of programs that use the arts to help children succeed.
For more information, to donate or to sponsor a child, people are invited to visit www.cincinnatiartsandtechnologycenter.org or call CATC at (513) 562-5500.
For more information on Bridging the Gap: https://cincinnatiartsandtechnologycenter.org/student-programs/bridging-the-gap/

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