FABx creates important learning opportunities for Newport’s youth
By Lisa DiMartino, PhD | June 02, 2023
Rhode Island Foundation
Engagement keeps youth returning. Belonging builds trust and confidence. And opportunity is what’s needed for all.
The three – engagement, belonging, and opportunity – FABx says, create the necessary identity for youth to make well-informed positive future visions (PFV). Research says a PFV-a mental image of a fulfilling future as a mathematician, dancer, or veterinarian, just to name a few – is a more powerful indicator of long-term success than grades and test scores.
“What we know is out-of-school-time programs offer important learning opportunities for youth,” Executive Director and Co-Founder Steve Heath declared recently. The equity- and learner-centered FABx is the new umbrella entity overseeing the successful programs at FabNewport, which celebrates 10 years this year, and PVD Young Makers, which was founded in 2018.
“Every Rhode Island young person deserves to participate in after-school and summer learning.”
Heath continued, “Every Rhode Island young person deserves to participate in after-school and summer learning.”
To further prove the need to leaders and purse string holders statewide, its Positive Future Visions (PFV) campaign will collect, curate, and communicate the “beautiful ideas about growing their life” and how their PFVs can be realized with access to the right resources, opportunities, and relationships.
The Rhode Island Foundation has been a supporter since its inception, giving nearly $360,000 for a variety of the nonprofit’s endeavors. They include its initial development, capacity building, a summer camp for girls’ program in 2015, and $60,000 in 2022 for its Growing the Ecosystem strategic initiative. The creation of FABx is a byproduct of that strategic work, and will be a way to partner with others to help more kids throughout Rhode Island.
“FabNewport has been a critical partner in creating the conditions for art and creativity to exist as a pathway for our youth to imagine and shape their destinies,” said Joe Wilson Jr., Director of Providence’s Department of Art, Culture and Tourism (ACT). He wanted to be a lawyer before an acting class in college changed his life.
Wilson presented a citation from Providence Mayor Brett P. Smiley for the FABx launch and FabNewport anniversary before stating the City’s partnership with them needs to and will continue for years and years to come.
FABx youth ambassadors and staff hope to collect at least 500 PFVs from kids in as many neighborhoods as possible. Partners and advocates will host campaign drives throughout the summer. Those interested in having their PFV recorded can also find more details at www.gofabx.org.