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TMH Program History

The Missouri History Museum founded Teens Make History (TMH) in 2007 to teach skills that the US Department of Labor identified as requisite for workplace success, encourage high school graduation, and help students gain the self-worth and capabilities needed to excel. Teen apprentices are paid employees of the Missouri History Museum who work closely with professional staff and complete real work projects. In the process, they learn important skills, such as cooperation, responsibility, and time management.

TMH began with four student apprentices who researched, wrote, and performed museum theatre plays. The program has since expanded to include other areas of museum work. TMH Academy was created in 2011 as an entrance workshop to the program. In the Academy, students explore different Museum departments and complete challenges in teams. In 2012 the TMH Exhibitors were created as a new team in the program. Today, TMH annually serves a diverse group of approximately 50 students between the TMH Academy and TMH Apprenticeships. 

Before graduating from TMH, teen apprentices fill out a retrospective self-evaluation about their ability to manage their time, problem solve and work with others. They rate themselves as they were when they entered the program and as they are now. Every teen apprentice has evaluated the program as generating growth in all or some of these areas. To date more than 90 apprentices have graduated from the program, and TMH alumni have gone on to a variety of colleges and vocational training following high school.

Teens Make History has been honored to win several awards, including The St. Louis Argus’s Youth Organization of the Year Award in 2009, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in 2014, FOCUS St. Louis’s What’s Right with the Region! Award in 2015, and a Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History in 2017. 

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