AWOL Makes Distinguished List of Countries Top Youth Arts Programs

Tony and DaVena Jordan, AWOL Founders
Tony and DaVena Jordan, AWOL Founders

The nonprofit youth arts and technology program, AWOLAll Walk of Life, Inc. for the second year in a row has been chosen for recognition as a 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (NAHYP) finalist by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and its partner agencies, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“I am humbled and at the same time overwhelmed with excitement about the news, as the organizations founder, I could have never imagined just how far AWOL would go and this designation for the second time, gives me hope and optimism for our future,” says founder, Tony Jordan.

AWOL since it’s inception in 1997 strives to provide youth at-risk with high quality arts education opportunities, and all the hard work throughout the years could very soon put them in a category with some of the nations most elite youth arts programs. The award committee reviewed 471 nominations from 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. AWOLwas selected as one of the 50 Finalist, which distinguishes it as one of the top arts and humanities based programs in the country.

“This wonderful news is bitter sweet for AWOL as we struggle to keep the program in tact, under the weight of huge budget cuts. It is my hope that this will be a rallying cry for the community to get behind what works for Savannah youth,” says executive director, DaVena Jordan.

AWOL’s nomination is now being reviewed by the 2011 NAHYP Award national jury composed of arts and humanities field experts. The committee is expected to notify winners of the award by the end of June. If selected,

AWOL would receive a one-time $10,000 grant and an invitation to attend the White House awards ceremony hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.

The mission of AWOL is to promote and provide self-awareness through the use of Poetry, Hip-Hop and Life.

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