Sun Shine: YouthWorks building skills, pride in young people

For teens and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds, YouthWorks — a mostly state-funded collaboration backed locally by Worcester Community Action Council and partners — provides more than something for them to do over the summer. It’s a stepping stone to the future. “What Worcester is doing is terrific,” said Anne Berrigan, a program administrator. “YouthWorks is one of the best kept secrets in your town.” Not for long! Alex L. Khan takes an in-depth look at what’s working for these Worcester youths.

Sun Shine: Brattle Street, last stop on the way to freedom for Worcester LGBT asylum seekers

 “Jeffry was fired from his job as a teacher, he could not go shopping and had to hide in his home. His family threw him out of the house at 17 years old, but even at home Jeffry was not allowed to eat dinner unless he brought his own utensils and plate. He was not even allowed to worship at his church.” From Jamaica, where homophobia runs rampant, Jeffry made his way to Worcester, where he found not just acceptance but caring assistance. New Sun contributor Sloane M. Perron tells the story.

Rainbow Readers offers new chapter for Worcester LGBT community

“Back in November, I was frustrated because I knew of book clubs nearby, but none that interested me. So I decided I might as well start my own.” Sarah Slocum said she discovered the closest LGBT book club was in an Arlington library some 50 miles away. Now, though, folks like Sarah only have to make their way to James Street. New Sun contributor Danielle Cutillo takes a closer look at one of the city’s newest LGBT resources.

Sun Shine: ACE makes the grade for Worcester refugee students

“As a refugee myself I had challenges; due to culture it was hard for me. Even coming with a college degree it was difficult,” said Kaska Yawo, executive director of African Community Education. Augustine Kanjia takes a closer look at how far ACE and its students have come in a decade.

University Park

Sun Shine: Walking Together, on a mission in Worcester’s Main South

A storefront, some folding chairs and a caring heart are the foundation of an Episcopal ministry at 799 Main. As she walks, listens, helps, and even provides quarters at a local laundry, Rev. Meredyth Wessman Ward is making a gentle difference in many lives. Her work is part of the church’s recent efforts to reach out to people in new places and new ways.

Sun Shine: Arrays of light — Clark student’s solar project to aid ‘our heroes’

While helping the environment by providing renewable energy through the sun, an enterprising Clark student’s project also seeks to benefit individuals, such as police officers, military veterans, teachers and firefighters, whose everyday work helps others. Indeed the 19-year-old has already learned a valuable lesson: “If you really want to accomplish something, you have to find the time.” We suggest you find the time to check out this profile from Bronislaus B. Kush.

Sun Sampler: A healthy portion of our freshest good stuff

With in-depth reporting, intricate storytelling and thoughtful perspectives we have striven to create a menu that accentuates the best of Worcester and its surrounding communities. Something you didn’t know yesterday that makes you think about tomorrow. The places you’ll want to go. Real folks with incredible stories, who we think you’d want to meet.

Sun Shine: Windows into city’s past at Denholms

“I started working on the windows because I saw the condition of the building. I wanted to lend my hand any way I could. At the same time, I wanted to honor my grandmother by doing this work.” Christopher Sawyer has been brightening the landmark’s facade for several years. Learn more about his motivation and plans for the future with Patrick Sargent.

Sun Shine: Church’s intervention divine for dozens of area students

The Worcester Diocese Adopt-A-Student program has helped students like Grace Clark, now an 18-year-old freshman at Assumption College, who graduated from St. Peter-Marian. “I really got a great education,” said the pre-med student. “Frankly, if it weren’t for the program, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” Bronislaus B. Kush checks in with Clark, and reports on the origins and future of this initiative.