Achievement through Community Services, Education and Skill-Building (ACES)

A Good Idea


Each year 25 youths have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and gain valuable work experience through the ACES program at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. Youth spend one full day a week during the school year at the museum and four days a week during the summer. They may participate in ACES for three years (sophomore through senior years) and are required to make up any missed schoolwork. Each participant is assigned a staff mentor who has been trained in positive youth development. The youth learn about the museum (which targets children ages 1-7), help with the museum administration and exhibit design, and benefit from several training sessions and trips designed to enhance their leadership skills. Hands-on learning is supplemented with tutoring and homework help. Students receive a stipend equal to minimum wage for working with their mentor five hours a week during the school year, and 20 hours a week during the summer.

Goal / Mission

The goal of this program is to promote positive youth development and to help youth gain valuable work experience.

Results / Accomplishments

25 youths participate in the program each year. Since 1999, WIA funds have paid for one staff person to run the program and for the student stipends. The museum provides the space, and mentors volunteer their time.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Jennifer Arnold, Youth Program Coordinator
Please Touch Museum
210 North 21st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 963-0667, ext. 3103
Education / Student Performance K-12
Social Environment / Social & Civic Involvement
Art & Recreation / Libraries & Museums
Please Touch Museum
Finance Project
Date of publication
Sep 2003
Philadelphia, PA
Target Audience

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