Chester County Youth Center Unveils Creative Hope Studio, A New Pathway for Positive Change

Creative Hope Music Studio at Chester County Youth CenterSubmitted Image

WEST CHESTER, PA — In an innovative move to engage young residents and foster positive development, the Chester County Youth Center (CCYC) has introduced a Creative Hope Studio to its facility. This addition is not your average classroom—it’s a fully functioning music studio that includes technology for producing music, recording book readings, graphic design, and video editing.

This initiative is the result of a partnership with Lancaster-based Creative Hope Studios, an organization known for its work with youth in the juvenile justice system. Using hip-hop and creative arts as tools, Creative Hope Studios aims to create platforms for positive change.

Chester County Commissioners Josh Maxwell, Marian Moskowitz, and Eric Roe lauded the program, stating, “Creative Hope Studios is an engaging program for residents at the Chester County Youth Center who have earned the opportunity to explore their creativity in music, dance, art, storytelling, and multimedia. We commend the Youth Center’s staff for adding this resource to the programs available to help the youth at the Center move forward in healthy ways.”

The idea for the music studio originated from one of the Youth Center’s residents and was brought to fruition through a collaboration with the Chester County Juvenile Probation Office and Creative Hope Studios. The studio now stands as a testament to what can be achieved when an institution listens to its residents’ needs and takes creative action.

Chester County Youth Center Director Deb Maccariella expressed her excitement about the new studio, saying, “The Creative Hope Studio at the Youth Center is an amazing space that we are excited our residents can use—many of whom have experienced trauma and can find a healing outlet through this program.”

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Founded by a team of music industry professionals, juvenile justice trainers, and community activists in 2021, Creative Hope Studio uses hip-hop’s four fundamental elements in its program: graffiti, break dancing, rapping, and deejaying. Participants can write, record, and edit music and lyrics, read a book or record a message for family members, and create graphic designs for album covers.

Corey Oatman, a trainer at Creative Hope Studios, emphasized the program’s focus on using music and arts as tools for healing, personal development, and social impact. “You can tell by the way the residents’ faces light up when they walk by the Youth Center room and see a fully functioning music studio that they’re ready to earn the right to be there,” said Oatman.

The Creative Hope Studio was purchased through a Title I grant, and CCYC staff received training on operating and maintaining it, and most importantly, helping Youth Center residents create beats.

This innovative approach to juvenile justice signals a shift in Chester County towards programs that not only rehabilitate but also empower youth. By providing a creative outlet that fosters self-expression, the Creative Hope Studio is poised to make a significant positive impact on the lives of CCYC residents, offering them a unique opportunity to explore their creativity and build resilience.

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