Part of the Story

Part of the Story, the YCL Teens logo, and the 2023 theme "Teen Mental Wellness"

2023 Billboard Designs: See the Winner!

Billboard Entries – Part of the Story Click through to see the other entries!

Congratulations to students from Amande Sodl’s classroom at Northeastern High School, who designed this year’s winning billboard design!  54 students in total attended this year’s Part of the Story event. Jay Guidinger from Lamar Advertising, who was on the judges’ panel said, “Honestly, I could make any of these designs work for a billboard. These designs get better every year!”

Jump to 2023 information

Part of the Story

Part of the Story is a book-based program that engages teens in grades 9-12, in exploring an important, real-life issue affecting them and their community. A regional author’s book is selected, and the author is invited to take part in the day. Each teen gets a free copy of the selected book when they register (while supplies last). Teens help choose the theme each year!

Part of the Story is a welcoming, safe event where teens can have rich conversations about topics that matter to them, in community with supportive adults. Teens build connections with one another, gain important knowledge and skills, and recognize that they can make a difference. Teen voices matter!

The day includes a light breakfast, an interactive conversation with the featured author, small group activities and discussions with “Human Libraries.” A Human Library is a person who shares their experience and expertise with others. Teens break for lunch, which we provide. Then teens have a conversation with Lamar Advertising about raising awareness around the day’s topic, and work together on creative billboard designs. One groups design is chosen by a panel of judges to be displayed around York County on real billboards. The billboards are courtesy of Lamar Advertising.    Teens are an important part of the story.

Past topics include “Immigration,” “Body Image,” “Bullying,” “Social Justice,” and “Addiction.”

Part of the Story 2023: Teen Mental Wellness

The topic for 2023, chosen by prior-year teens, was Teen Mental Wellness.

The 2023 Part of the Story book was The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by award-winning author NoNieqa Ramos. Author NoNieqa Ramos is an educator and writer of picture books and young adult literature. The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary received stars from Booklist, Voya, and Foreword. It was a 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection and a 2019 In the Margins Top Ten pick.

Teens read the book before arriving at the event. During the day they had a chance to discuss the book both with the author and with one another. Their insights were eye-opening! Later in the day, they got to bring their ideas together to design billboards to express the message they got from both the book, and the different workshops they did during Part of the Story. 

Staff from Lamar Advertising ran a “Billboard Design 101” session. Students created impactful billboard designs, which you can see in the image gallery at the top of this page. Jump to top.

Stay in the Know

Each year, teens provide suggestions during Part of the Story to inform the topic of the following year. Yes—we are already working on planning Part of the Story 2024! 

If you’d like to stay in the know about this and our other great programs for teens around York County, you can sign up for our Teen eNewsletter on our email signup page. (Add other newsletters if you like!)