El Puente Bushwick Center mural by Los Muralistas de El Puente
True to its mission, El Puente came to Bushwick in 1992 in response to a request from Monsignor John Powis, Pastor of St. Barbara's Catholic Church, and other youth and community leaders to create a center where community youth would be empowered. It has been 20 years, and El Puente has been doing just that in Bushwick: nurturing leaders and inspiring young people to be the force driving change in the community. The New York Times called the Center “An Outpost Where Hope Can Thrive.”
El Puente Bushwick Leadership Center is a vibrant, safe and nurturing community for young people (ages 13-21) and their families. It offers a comprehensive year round program that integrates El Puente’s signature Membership model that focuses on holistic leadership development, one to one mentoring and project based learning. An array of skills based activities focus on achieving educational mastery and transformative social action. Participation in the arts is an essential part of the Center as a powerful tool to educate and organize the community. “Time Flies: A History of Bushwick
” and “A Community Rises: Creating a World without Domestic Violence”, two powerful community murals painted by the El Puente Muralistas
and Bushwick members are part of Bushwick’s walking tours and are an inspiration to community residents.
Youth leaders at the Bushwick Center are focused on raising the consciousness of the community and advocating around issues of equity and social justice. Youth led campaigns focus on educational reform, voter’s registration and mobilization, tenants rights, access to health services, environmental and food justice, child abuse as well as domestic violence and teenage pregnancy prevention. These and many other organizing efforts throughout the years have achieved powerful results and sustainable change in Bushwick, which testify to the value of El Puente's holistic, culturally rooted, community relevant, and asset-based youth programming.
Bushwick Leadership Center Information:
311 Central Avenue * Brooklyn, NY 11221
Ages: 13 - 19
Hours: Mon-Fri, 3p - 6p
Activities: tutoring, homework help, college prep, drama, visual arts (painting, photography), spoken word, health & wellness support, leadership training, community action project and internships.