Picture of youth climbing pyramid staircase depicting struggle and hope

Boston Youth Win Third Annual Mural Contest

Youth from Bridge Over Troubled Waters, a runaway and homeless youth program in Boston, have won the third annual Family and Youth Services Bureau Mural Contest for their depiction of a young person climbing toward hope.

About 10 young people from Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ Transitional Day Program, which provides shelter, food and comprehensive services to Boston’s homeless youth, participated in sessions to create the mural design. The Transitional Day Program helps teens and young adults struggling with homelessness, substance abuse, histories of trauma, and psychiatric conditions. The program also supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth facing the challenges of coming out.

In a statement that accompanied the design, staff of the program wrote:

The mural represents each of the clients’ steep climb to overcome their struggles as homeless young adults. They are moving from the darkness of despair into the light of hope and future success. Our young people know that homelessness is not their only issue; they are aware that constant hard work is imperative for their success. The clients expressed that their experience with homelessness has built resilience into their characters—they have surmounted a major obstacle, like the one in the mural—and this will help them overcome other challenges that will come later in life.

FYSB’s mural contest encourages and showcases the creativity of runaway and homeless youth and gives them opportunities to express themselves, work together as a team and share their experiences. A panel of young adults from last year’s winning program, The Colorado Rural Collaborative Youth Leadership Team, along with FYSB staff, picked this year’s winner from 11 design ideas.

View the winning mural design and read the accompanying statement