Who We Are
Our Mission: Strong Communities Through Strong Youth
AMTP works collaboratively with youth, parents, educators and community members to strengthen self-esteem, foster resilience, enrich opportunities, and develop stable, secure relationships in the lives of young people who face challenging life circumstances.
How AMTP Makes a Difference:
The Teen Project, AMTP’s core project, is an activity-based mentoring program that enrolls youth between 12-14 years old. Each teen develops a long-term mentoring relationship with a staff mentor, sometimes lasting well beyond high school. AMTP mentors engage with youth in their schools, homes, on AMTP trips, and within their communities. Because of this access, AMTP mentors are able to work with participants within various contexts to help reinforce positive behaviors, and strengthen the transference of learning between these contexts.
All Teen Project participants have the opportunity to join in on outdoor adventure activities and service learning projects that strengthen self-esteem, enhance communication skills, and build technical skills. They are also encouraged to participate in the Pathways to Leadership Project and the AMTP Youth Leadership Council (AYLC), two projects focused on developing leadership skills.
AMTP engages in broader education and coalition building within the communities we serve through the Diversity Project and the Community and Family Education Project. We recognize that youth are shaped in part by the schools and communities in which they live, and AMTP works to ensure that their voices are at the table by including youth directly in community dialogue, and representing them whenever we can.
AMTP’s core philosophy is built around the idea that all young people have strengths and resources, and that sometimes tragic life circumstances or systems of oppression weaken these assets. Providing access to a variety of extra-curricular opportunities, caring support, respectful information-sharing, encouraging guidance, and community-wide collaboration is how AMTP brings strength and resilience to the fore in the lives of the youth we serve.
Teens say that they now know that they have something valuable and unique to contribute to the world…
“It helps that I have someone to listen to me and not be judgemental… Everyone at AMTP makes me feel welcomed and accepted. When I am with them, I feel at home.” ~AMTP Youth
“AMTP has improved my ability to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people I would otherwise not speak to. AMTP has also made me realize there are people in the world just like me… AMTP is a place that I can go to feel safe and share my stories and problems and people understand… I now can say that I am able to share my feelings and experiences with other teens and help them because I conquered my fears. Through AMTP, I have found myself, my real self, and I’m not afraid to show it!” ~AMTP Youth
And parents notice change too – in their teens and in their families…
“As a parent I felt very at ease with asking for help. AMTP allowed my son to realize his potential for self-reliance while at the same time developing his ability to function effectively in group endeavors. My son has a more positive outlook towards overcoming life’s challenges and a great appreciation for enjoying himself in everyday activities.” ~AMTP Parent
“In the parenting program it was helpful to be able to discuss our experiences. The facilitators were great. It changed the way I interact with my daughter.” ~AMTP Parent
AMTP has a unique partnership with schools. Here is what a few noted educators say about the Teen Project:
“AMTP excels at building relationships with individual youth, but goes far beyond that. Because of their ability to see students in school, AMTP can help teachers understand the youth and plan ways to help foster success…. I have sat in on a ‘wrap around’ team that was initiated by AMTP to help support a student who had recently come back home from residential placement. Through their leadership and guidance, this student is successfully reintegrating into her family and community. I have also seen AMTP’s willingness to step in and fill community needs through educational parent forums, bringing character and citizenship opportunities into our schools, and creating a day for 6th grade students from across our school district to come together as a piece of the middle school transition process. The staff is approachable and responsive and dedicated to serving the youth of our community.” ~ Anika Hastings, Guidance Counselor, Tuftonboro Central School
“As a court appointed family therapist, and more recently as a Special Educator at Laconia High School, I have had 20 years of close contact with AMTP and daily contact with the at-risk students they serve. AMTP has refined a most effective approach and has continued to serve youth with an exemplary ethical and professional philosophy through their recent leadership and staff changes. I am as impressed by their work now as I was when I first encountered them long ago. Their effectiveness has only grown as the challenges of reaching these teens have escalated…. First, AMTP makes a long-term commitment to the youth and families they serve…. Second, AMTP helps teens become grounded in nature through the trips and service work… The experience of nature teaches at many levels and identifies the need for health, planning, and personal integrity…Third, AMTP staff model and coach groups in becoming a positive moral and inclusive community. Few other services are so valued by teens, and they have consistently expressed this to me over many years… In short, AMTP has got it right! Please help them expand their work.” ~ Eric Greenfield, Special Education Teacher, Laconia High School
AMTP alumni do great things. One now working as a teacher in Montana writes:
“This life is so full thanks to AMTP. Without my experience with AMTP I would not know that I could be here. Growing up with educational disadvantages leads many youth to not understand their own potential. Without AMTP I could never have glimpsed what I could be but, now that I have, there is no stopping me!” ~AMTP Alumni
Appalachian Mountain Teen Project was featured in the book, Pockets of Hope, by Eileen de los Reyes and Patricia Gozemba. The authors write:
Here teens are able to regain their power to speak, listen, and act on their dream of a healthy and positive future… Teens in AMTP prove that in a safe space where they are offered love and respect, they can learn to think critically, take responsibility for themselves and others, and become passionately engaged in their communities.
From 1984 to 2013 AMTP has helped 6,675 people, 8 school districts, 20 communities
The Appalachian Mountain Teen Project (AMTP) was initiated as a summer program in 1984 with start-up support from NHCF by program founder, Donna San Antonio, and was incorporated as a year round program in 1987. AMTP was created as an independent, community-based non-profit youth and community service program to serve the Lakes Region of Central New Hampshire.
Since 1984, we have formed long-term mentoring relationships with over 550 teens and conducted thousands of activity days with teen groups. Over time, the program has expanded to include parenting courses, classroom based diversity programs, a program to help youth successfully transition to Middle School, and efforts to improve access to and success in post-secondary education. Since 1984, the AMTP has served over 5,400 people in 8 school districts and 19 communities. Today, AMTP continues to dedicate its resources where there is a high level of need without adequate resources to address those needs.