There are over 35,000 museums in the United States, including 120 museums in San Diego County. Each one offers a unique experience for visitors to learn in ways they otherwise would not be able to.

This is especially true for our youth.

From the moment a child walks through a museum, their life is enriched.

Thanks to the presence of interaction with real life objects, museums stand apart from classroom learnings and teachings.

Whether it’s at science centers or inside historical exhibits, museums give children an opportunity to immerse themselves in artifacts and activities that provoke imagination and plant seeds for future life skills.

According to the Smithsonian, the experiences young children have in museums can shape their thinking, values, aspirations, artistic appreciation, understanding of science and identities throughout their lives.

The only question is, how can we provide more opportunities for youth, particularly those at-risk and underserved, to engage with these places early on?

How is your organization providing opportunities for youth to engage with educational places like museums? Share your story in the comments!

Rich with Opportunity

In San Diego, we are blessed with a diverse array of museums and learning centers for youth to explore.

Balboa Park offers a hotbed of local favorites, but dozens more exist throughout the County. Search here to find something new.

One thing many of these institutions are doing is creating programs or opportunities specifically designed to support opportunity youth — children and young adults in foster care, the juvenile justice system or the criminal justice system.

For example, did you know the San Diego Hall of Champions hosts an annual camp in partnership with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department for 75 at-risk children? The campers are immersed in physical, academic and group activities that teach leadership skills, build character and grow self-esteem.

Hall of Champions Camp for Opportunity Youth

San Diego Hall of Champions campers immersed themselves in physical, academic and group activities that teach leadership skills, build character and grow self-esteem.

Other museums create programs and exhibits specifically designed to serve opportunity youth, such as the New Americans Museum and Natural History Museum.

The power of exploration and development that museums provide is one of the many tools we have to put our children on the path toward success.

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Support San Diego Museums

We encourage you to invest in some of San Diego’s museums that are breaking down barriers for youth:

Is your organization also making an impact in helping our youth access San Diego’s educational opportunities like museums? Let us know in the comments!

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