Carpenter to leave director position at Armory

The Armory Youth Project will hold its grand opening on June 26. (News Advocate file photo)

The Armory Youth Project held its grand opening on June 26. Robert Carpenter, current executive director, has accepted a new position out of state. (News Advocate file photo)

MANISTEE — The Armory Youth Project board of directors recently announced its plans to replace its executive director in the near future.

Robert Carpenter, the Armory’s current executive director, has accepted a position in Vermont working for a national nonprofit organization. His last day with the Armory is set for Nov. 12.

Carpenter, who has been with the Armory well before it first opened, is said to be starting his new position in early December.

In a press release, Eileen Postma, Armory Youth Project board president, stated the Armory — located at 555 First St. — is still moving forward in Carpenter’s absence. However, the board has yet to discuss replacement details.

Postma said Carpenter will be financially compensated until the end of the month.

“We are excited for Robert and Kelsey, his wife, and understand their desire to be closer to family and wish them the best in their future endeavors,” said Postma. “We are still moving forward.”

Since opening in June 2017, the Armory has been a safe haven for Manistee County youth, providing opportunities and programming geared toward physical, emotional, social and educational well being, along with Christian spiritual development.

The Armory serves students from 6-12th grades, and has offered free after school and summer activities including homework help and tutoring, art projects, basketball and dodgeball, the Seed to Save community gardening project, drug free youth parties and resume assistance.

In addition to new programs, Postma said the Armory recently completed a commercial kitchen renovation, making it possible to hold cooking classes as well as serve nutritious, low cost snacks and meals.

Postma said the board is thankful for Carpenter’s dedication to the Armory.

“We are thankful for what has been accomplished in our first full year and will always be grateful for Robert’s help in realizing our vision for Manistee County youth,” said Postma.

While the board discusses future plans, Postma said finding a replacement will be essential in continuing the Armory’s growth. Despite this, she said the board is certain its mission will live on.

“Selecting another capable replacement to work with our board of directors, students, staff and volunteers will be key to our continued success,” Postma said.

As the Armory continues to work with its community partners, Postma said the board plans to implement additional programs and services to advance their vision of a flourishing youth culture in the months ahead.

For more information about the Armory Youth Project, visit armoryyouthproject.com.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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