Youth Ambassadors Program on Oral History

Thanks to the Smithsonian Institution and the Michigan Humanities Council, the Heritage Museum offers a summer ‘thought-changing’ program called the Youth Ambassadors Program. It allows young locals to interview a community leader, create a transcription of this interview and create their own trailer to this interview using iMovie! Many new skills are introduced to them during this and it’s very fun! While having fun, they are able to develop research skills, interview and writing practices, critical thinking, teamwork as well as hands-on learning of the latest multi-media technology from Apple. This is all learned through oral history!

Oral history is very important; it is a permanent verbal history document between two community leaders recorded in order to understand the past. Oral histories search out a personal experience or reflection of the past from the interviewee. HMCC has a commitment to these historical narrators to preserve their historic verbal documents for history, for our communities current as well as future use. Many transcriptions are preserved in our archives to teach future generations. As the youth learn and document history in this program, they are personally helping future researchers in many ways!

This summer program was created to educate youth and bridge the gap between community leaders and area youth, allowing them to connect more genuinely. This program will also help the community to benefit by an increased awareness of local history, its importance and how it connects to national trends and events. Knowledge of local history creates pride in the community.

Check out the 2017 Youth Ambassador Jamey Carpenter and her hard work this summer interviewing:

Jamey interviews Michael Enders:

Debbie Standen: (Video will be uploaded soon)

John Callender:  (Video will be uploaded soon)

Glenn Laing:  (Video will be uploaded soon)


Check out the 2016 Youth Ambassadors and their hard work last summer!

Mamie Yarbrough was interviewed by Qiyamah Muhammad:



Erna Lewald was interviewed by Aimee Lewald:



Miriam Jean Pede was interviewed by Kaila Nichols:



Roger Outlaw was interviewed by Amirah Muhammad:



Dorothy Stover was interviewed by Lauren Cook: