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Wheatley Library Sponsors Teen Empowerment Program

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This summer, students from the Teen Empowerment program have been meeting at the Phillis Wheatley Library. Founded in 1963, there are only three TE centers in the United States, two in the Boston, Massachusetts area and one in Rochester. The goal is to help low-income, urban teenagers develop “skills to create change in their own lives and in their communities.” The library’s program has put them together with adults who help them better understand the community in which they live.

Corn Hill Historian Jim DeVinney recently met with the group to explain the origins of Rochester and how the Third Ward (now Corn Hill) became the birthplace of our city’s African-American community. He further explained the important role Clarissa Street played in that history and why the annual Clarissa Street Reunion remains an important annual event, although the street’s appearance has been greatly altered in the past fifty years.

Jim’s presentation concluded with a walking tour of Clarissa Street, pointing out where important homes and businesses once stood.