PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – South Philadelphia’s Fleisher Art Memorial has won the nation’s top honor for after school arts programs. One of Fleisher’s students will accept the award from the First Lady at the White House, today.

Zulmarie Nazzarrio came to Philadelphia from Puerto Rico three years ago, just about the time Fleisher was starting a drop-in after school program for teens. She has been attending every week ever since. She says it’s been a haven for her.

“Those three years that I’ve been going to Fleisher, it’s made me a whole different person. I see everything, everything’s art and I really enjoy it. I really love it.”

Devotion like that is the reason Fleisher is receiving the National Youth Program Award, given jointly by the President’s Commission on Arts and Humanities and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.

Fleisher executive director Matt Braun is thrilled.

“This is such a great honor for us. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for an organization like ours to be celebrated, so this is really a transformative moment for us.”

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060

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