ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Representatives from the Missouri History Museum will share the stage with First Lady Michelle Obama this afternoon as they accept the 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award on behalf of the Museum’s Teens Make History program.

Elizabeth Pickard, director of interpretive programs for the Missouri History Museum, and Amesha Payne, a current Teens Make History student and senior at Carnahan High School, will represent the program at the White House ceremony today.

Teens Make History was one of 12 after-school programs chosen from across the country for the prestigious honor.

In addition to their recognition at the White House, each of the 12 community-based programs will receive $10,000 and a year of communications and capacity-building support from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

The award recognizes the country’s best creative youth development programs for using engagement in the arts and the humanities to increase academic achievement, graduation rates, and college enrollment. The awardees — chosen from a pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists — are also recognized for improving literacy and language abilities, communication and performance skills, and cultural awareness.

The Missouri History Museum’s Teens Make History (TMH) is a work-based learning program that encourages high school students in their sophomore, junior or senior year to develop key professional skills, build self-confidence, and explore the complexities of history.

Students first complete the TMH Academy, an eight-week introductory museum studies workshop, before they may apply for one of the paid, long-term apprenticeships in TMH.

Apprentices complete real work projects as a member of either the TMH Players—the group that researches, writes, and performs plays—or the TMH Exhibitors—a group that conducts exhibition projects, including oral history interviews.

Through their projects, teens learn skills such as accountability, teamwork, time management, written and spoken communication skills, and responsibility—skills that the U.S. Department of Labor has identified as necessary to workplace success.

Current students and alumni of the Teens Make History program will gather with Missouri History Museum staff, board members and donors for a viewing party of the White House Ceremony today from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Click here to watch the ceremony live.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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