School is back in session and thus our Teen Center will be starting up again soon. The teens in Perth Amboy are excited to once again have a safe environment to exercise and socialize. I met with our Summer Camp Counselors in Training (CIT’s) to discuss what Teen Center means for them and what they think we could do to help to continue this program. This group of teens are all in the 13/14 year-old age range, so keeping Teen Center alive is most important for them, as they will be utilizing the Teen Center for several years to come.
Q: How does Teen Center at the Y impact you?
A: 14 year old boy: “I don’t always feel comfortable at home, I feel much better when I am at the Y and able to socialize with my friends, I feel I belong they care about us here”.
A: 13 year old boy: “I was able to meet a great basketball coach at Teen Center who helped me with my basketball skills, I don’t know any place else I could go to get that help for free”.
A: 14 year old girl: “I love to dance, but my parents can’t afford to send me to dance class, I like that I get to learn new things about dance at Teen Center and can practice with my friends.”
Q: What would you be doing on the nights that Teen Center is taking place if it wasn’t available any longer?
A: 14 year old girl: “Probably staying home bored on my computer”.
A: 13 year old boy: “Getting into trouble”.
A: 13 year old boy: “Hanging out on the street”.
Our conversation lead into how we could work together to help keep Teen Center going. The teens were excited to be a part of the process. Our plan is to create a video, developed and created by the teens themselves to share their feeling on Teen Center and how important it is. We plan to use this video on fund raising sites to see if we can raise enough funds to keep this program going. Stay tuned for one amazing video soon!