It has taken longer than those behind it ever expected it to, but a new Teen Centre is now open in Yorkton thanks to the efforts of the Boys and Girls Club.
The facility is one of those things in a city such as Yorkton should have had years ago.
But like the skateboard park which we now have and see being used so much in the summer months by our youth, things can take a lot of time from that of a good idea to a completed project.
There are issues surrounding locations, regulations, bylaws and funding, all things which must align just right for a project such as the Teen Centre to come to fruition.
The Boys and Girls Club is lucky it has leadership such as Executive Director Lorraine Moeller and Program Manager Erin Nelson. Backed by a Board of Directors, these two women saw the need for a place for Yorkton teens that was not the mall food court, or the street corner.
They understood teens need a place which is safe, and built to accommodate the sort of things they like to do.
That is why there are drum kits on the floor when you walk into the Centre, and guitars on the walls. Music is a big part of most teens’ lives, and the Centre affords an opportunity to learn music and experience it with others.
There will also be a small work-out area, a pool table, air hockey, and a quiet place to just sit and do homework, chat, or read.
But the Centre is more than a ‘hang-out’ for teens.
There is an appreciation teens do require some structure in things, and that too will be provided.
The Centre will offer education to teens in areas ranging from how to cook a meal, to understanding how to budget for the day they move out on their own.
And there is the Rogers donation to the centre which is so impressive.
The 12-station computer network supplied through the Rogers Raising the Grade initiative provides online tutoring, education and career planning help, and social networking opportunities, all designed to help teens navigate through the school years to find a career best suited to them.
These are life skills we all need to have at some point, and if the Centre can offer programming which can support efforts in school and from family at home, it is a win-win situation.
The better prepared our teens are for their lives ahead, the better chance they have of not falling into the traps which can send teens down the wrong path of life, the better it is for everyone.
The new Centre, located at 54 C Smith Street West, will be a major asset for teens aged 13-18 in Yorkton.
In the coming months there will be opportunities to support the Centre, they need clothes for a program helping teens, art supplies, volunteers, a pool table, projection television and others things as needed, and hopefully we as a community will be there for them.
Because the Centre is there for one of the most important assets in our city, our youth.