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Great Falls Youth Center Students Release Book and Music Video

Great Falls Youth Center Students Release Book and Music Video

May 6, 2024

Watch our new music video

Check out the video photos

NJCDC opened the Great Falls Youth Center in 2018 to give Paterson high school students a safe space to spend time outside of school. This past December, we opened an expansion to the Youth Center, which allows us to meet the needs of the growing number of participants. At the Youth Center, teens can do their homework, play games, and hang out with friends. The Youth Center also offers a variety of enrichment activities, giving students a chance to learn new skills and explore their interests!


Throughout the year, the Great Falls Youth Center offers a variety of arts programming to Paterson teens. This programming gives the teens a safe opportunity to creatively express themselves while also having fun! And on April 18, students at our Great Falls Youth Center celebrated a very special occasion — the release of their new book and music video!

Since September, they’ve been participating in the Youth Center’s new Music in Motion program, which gives them hands-on experience with every stage of music production. For this program, NJCDC partnered with Phatt House Entertainment, owned by Paterson native and 5-time Grammy-nominated songwriter Shanell Red. Through Music in Motion, Shanell taught our students about music production, songwriting, audio editing and arrangement, recording techniques, and more. The students wrote an original song, the R.A.D. Anthem, which they then recorded and filmed a music video for.


But that’s not all — the Great Falls Youth Center Book of Art and Poems features 90 pages of original stories, poems, and art created by Great Falls Youth Center students. Staff collected works from students involved in an array of artistic programming and compiled them into the new book. At the release party, students received a hard copy of the book, making them officially published authors!


“It was nice to see my painting come alive in the book,” said one student. “It was an accomplishment for me. I never thought that I would get to publish any type of work I did, especially at this age in my life. It was an experience I will never forget!”

This is only the beginning of the amazing creative experiences Paterson teens can have at the Great Falls Youth Center! Students in the Music in Motion program are already working on a new song, and any Paterson high school student who is interested in joining in can reach out to Director Tiffany Shepherd at or 862-203-8803 to learn more about getting involved.

NJCDC’s Chief Program Officer David Gelman said, “It is so impressive to see the talent level of our students and their hard work and commitment to seeing these initiatives through to completion. I am grateful that NJCDC and the Youth Center can provide resources to show Paterson how artistically gifted our youth are. We look forward to the next project!”

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