The youth outreach program at Caldera, located at Blue Lake west of Sisters, is among 12 organizations that received the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award on Tuesday, November 17.

Caldera student Alena Nore, of Sisters, and Tricia Snell, Caldera's executive director, were at the White House on behalf of Caldera to accept the award from First Lady Michelle Obama.

"It is an honor to be the first nonprofit in Oregon to receive this prestigious award," Snell said. "This award inspires all of us at Caldera - youth, staff, board, volunteers, supporters - to reach for new heights in our work. We are in this work for the long term, and we are excited to learn from the other awardees and continue to expand and improve our work!"

Obama invited the 12 winners of the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award to the White House to recognize their effectiveness in developing learning and life skills in young people by engaging them in the arts or humanities.

The 12 community-based organizations from across the country were chosen from a pool of more than 285 nominations and 50 finalists from all 50 states to receive the highest honor awarded to such programs in the United States.

The ceremony included a live performance by Rosie's Theater Kids of New York, who perform a medley of songs by everyone from Alicia Keys to George Gershwin, and remarks by 14-year-old high school student André Massey, Jr. of Deep Center in Savannah, Georgia who talked about how poetry changed his life.