OGDEN -- Getting children invested in their academic work can be challenging under the best of circumstances, according to the nonprofit group called Nurture the Creative Mind.
In pursuit of that goal, especially within the Ogden educational community, the group announced it will relocate its headquarters to Ogden's Union Station in June.
Nurture the Creative Mind was formed in 2007 by poet Amir Jackson, who had experience doing volunteer work with students. Currently based in Layton, NCM has been given a grant enabling it to open its new office in Ogden.
"It's an organization that was formed organically. I never intended on starting a nonprofit. I started doing some volunteer work at a couple of schools, and then I started teaching kids poetry," said Jackson, describing the inception of the organization.
Nurture the Creative Mind focuses on helping students ages 12-18 develop their creativity, often through writing, but also through visuals and film. Part of what drove Jackson to begin the nonprofit was his ability to relate to the struggles he saw some students going through.
"When I was a young person, poetry was my outlet. I went through some hard times when I was young, hard times that we all go through as kids, and poetry was my way of establishing self-value," he said, "My idea was to work with kids, finding their voice and creating their voice. I started thinking, 'if this works here, can it work in other places?' And that's when I formed the foundation."
Since its formation in 2007, the foundation has grown from focusing mostly on schools to including such places as Decker Lake Youth Center in West Valley City and Mill Creek Youth Center in Ogden. The organization's success in steering children toward creative outlets earned it the Ogden City Mayor's Award for the Arts, and the National Newman Civic Fellows Award for civic engagement.
Eventually, Union Station approached Nurture the Creative Mind to ask if the organization was looking for office space, and after a generous monetary grant from a supporter, Nurture the Creative Mind will be opening its offices during the 10th Annual Ogden Arts Festival on June 7.
"We have been building relationships with the community for so long that someone decided we should have our own space. Our work ethic and efforts came together," Jackson said.
Anyone interested in learning more about the foundation can visit its website at www.nurturethecreativemind.com.