Oregon mentoring program recognized by First Lady

Caldera is considered one of the best youth mentoring programs in the country

First lady Michelle Obama speaks at the White House event for high school students involved in performing arts programs, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
First lady Michelle Obama speaks at the White House event for high school students involved in performing arts programs, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — First Lady Michelle Obama is recognizing 12 non-profits nationwide for their effectiveness in developing learning and life skills in young people by engaging them in arts and humanities.

Oregon based program Caldera is one of them.

“We see them open up. We see them get excited about discovering those new places within themselves,” says Randall Malcolm, a Caldera High School Youth Mentor.

Caldera serves more than 400 at-risk Oregon students each year. It cultivates learning and life skills by encouraging and directing students to take up things they’re interested in, like video production. Students learn story boarding, script writing, directing, lighting and acting.

“The subject sort of starts out with a silly sort of premise but the interior space the kids are exploring and the skills they’re learning through that exercises are invaluable,” says Malcolm.

Malcolm says 72% of Oregon students graduate. Students under the Caldera program have a 90% graduation rate.

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