New MOOS Program Installation

In 2019, longtime Shaker resident Kim Harris organized a celebration for Hildana Park. The goal: commemorate several upgrades to the Chagrin Boulevard park, including a new public art piece, Strength in Unity, while also helping to introduce Hildana Park to the broader Shaker community.

Harris, who is the founder of Shaker African American Mothers Support (SAMS), an organization that brings together parents from across the City, says Hildana park did not have much attention or traffic. In the midst of COVID-19 she thought “…what could we do to get people to come and enjoy the park safely and on their own time?”

She became inspired by the idea of oversized comfortable chairs, spaced evenly apart, and decorated by artwork from the Shaker community. The theme for the project was Hope and as Harris explained “with everything happening in our world right now, [the theme] felt right.”

Currently, the installations built by the MOOS Shaker team can be found installed in Hildana Park on Chagrin Blvd and in the Van Aken District. Workshops in the summer of 2020 with this veteran group have been full of MOOS firsts: new pandemic-related safety protocols, virtual design workshops held remotely, and experimentation with a new material, concrete.

The Making Our Own Space (MOOS) program began work with students living in The City of Shaker Heights’ Moreland neighborhood in 2016. Student artists submitted designs to the City’s Public Art Task Force for approval for the 2019 project.

Making Our Own Space @ Shaker Heights is made possible through the generous support of Starting Point, in collaboration with the City of Shaker Heights, MyCom, and the Shaker Heights Youth Center. The program is run by Kent State’s Urban Design Collaborative.

Read more about the installations at and

Executive Director John Lisy Receives The Mel Schulstad Professional of the Year Award

Shaker Heights, Ohio – The Shaker Heights Youth Center is proud to announce that Executive Director, John Lisy, received the Mel Schulstad Professional of the Year award from the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) in September of 2020. Created in 1979, the award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding and sustained contributions to the advancement of the addiction profession.

“I am honored to have been selected for the Mel Schulstad Professional of the Year award,” John remarked. “We are so fortunate to have such a mission-driven team who believes in supporting students and the community.”

John Lisy has served as the Executive Director of the Shaker Heights Youth Center for the last 25 years.  During his tenure at the Youth Center he has been instrumental in substantially increasing its funding and services. “The Shaker Heights Youth Center remains committed to Shaker youth and continues to collaborate with many organizations and individuals who share our passion for helping youth reach their full potential,” Lisy explained. He added, “I am excited to continue to build on this solid base as well as bring new ideas and expertise to the organization in the coming years.”

Since 1970, the Shaker Heights Youth Center has distinguished itself as a leader in the prevention field by fostering the emotional, behavioral, and developmental well-being of a diverse spectrum of youth in the Shaker community. The Youth Center offers programs serving school-aged youth and their families with services that include life skills education, social-emotional learning, academic support, leadership development, student assistance and other prevention services.

For more information about the programs and services provided, please contact the Youth Center at 216-752-9292.