Education is the key to future success. Many of our members are the first in their family to graduate from high school or attend college. We provide tutoring each day as well as assistance for those that are starting the process of applying to college. And every August we host a Summer Reading Program for incoming 5th graders, easing their transition into the middle school.
Our food program is incredibly important because many of our members aren't going home to a hot meal, or any meal at all. Each day when they arrive, they are able to have a snack and a healthy, home-cooked meal.
Recreation is vital; it's what initially draws kids inside our doors. We have a weight lifting/workout area and a basketball court where we run dodgeball, basketball, volleyball, floor hockey and several games that have been created with a touch of imagination. We provide an environment where kids aren't ridiculed for lack of athleticism; many of our members dislike gym because they are not treated well by their peers and even, at times, the coaches. Each day we host workout sessions where we train and teach youngsters how to treat their bodies well to help them gain healthy habits, which will hopefully help them throughout their lives. Recreation also provides them with an outlet to unleash stress and anger as well as give mental clarity and relaxation; keys to unlocking a more prosperous future.
Each week we always do some arts and crafts projects. Art teaches them patience and serves as a fantastic way to relax, unwind and calm their minds and bodies.
Hygiene is an important issue. We always have an assortment of hygiene products on hand and we also teach our members how to use them. Believe it or not, there are so many kids, even high schoolers, who don't understand how to clean themselves, use deodorant or keep their mouths clear of cavities.
Aside from personal cleanliness, we also provide mentoring for constructing resumes, how to be successful during a job interview as well as how to conduct yourself at said job.
Unfortunately we reside in a world that has a large amount of hate. Here at the Youth Center, children of all different backgrounds, ages and social groups are able to interact with each other, work together and get along. This is a place where they are able to have fun, but not at the expense of someone else; a lesson that many kids can benefit from these days.