There is no denying that troubled and inner-city youth are in desperate need of intervention. Many boys and girls in our community are growing up with little to no father figure, and often a mom that is too busy trying to keep food on the table to be able to build discipline into the lives of her kids.
No matter their background, boys and girls need a place where they can play, interact with other kids and receive mentoring to guide them as they grow. In our Youth Center, children benefit from educational tutoring, at least one nutritious meal a day and a safe haven from neighborhoods filled with drugs, violence and oppression.
The Youth Center is not only a place of education and fun, but our staff and volunteers emphasize the importance of a relationship with Christ. Daily Bible studies encourage these kids to grow deeper in their walk with God and reject the lifestyles that are so pervasive in their homes, schools and neighborhoods. These decisions are not easy for young men and women as they are exposed to extreme peer pressure to turn down dangerous paths. Leadership programs are offered to develop and reinforce skills that will carry over into their adult life.
Video game systems, full court basketball, air hockey, pool tables and a three story playground are just a few activities that keep these kids busy. Voluntary and mandatory events fill school-year afternoons. For at least one hour each day, students do their homework, participate in a book reading program or work on increasing their reading comprehension skills.
When school is out for the summer, kids go on weekly field trips and participate in community projects, while still being able to enjoy everything else the Youth Center has to offer. Year-round our Youth Center works to build hope into precious, young lives and give them a shot at a brighter future.