Giving teenagers their space
Sometimes, you just have to give teenagers their space. That's exactly what the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland did this week when they unveiled the new teen center in the Lincoln Park branch. Students in the club between the ages of 13 a...
Sometimes, you just have to give teenagers their space.
That's exactly what the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland did this week when they unveiled the new teen center in the Lincoln Park branch. Students in the club between the ages of 13 and 18 now have a space to do homework, play games, listen to music and even record music of their own.
"I love it," said Justyce Grennier, ninth grader at Denfeld and member of the club, while playing a card game at a table with her friend, 11th grader Ashonti Young. "It's much nicer than it used to be."
Grennier described the space before the renovation as "uninviting" and "really boring."
"It wasn't bad but it didn't feel open and we didn't feel like we could hang out," Grennier said.
When the club decided to revamp the space, input from teenagers was incredibly important. According to executive director Todd Johnson, staff met with the teenagers several times to brainstorm what teenagers would like to see in the space.
"We had the architects draw up several vignettes to design the space and showed them to the teenagers," Johnson said. "We couldn't incorporate everything they wanted, but we tried to prioritize the big things."
Big things like a better sound system, more space, a game room, an area to watch movies, a kitchen space and even a recording studio.
"I'm definitely going to go into the recording studio when we can. We both sing a lot so it'll be fun to get in there and work on our vocals more," Grennier said while Young nodded.
The whole project cost up to $200,000, without taking into consideration all the donated labor and supplies. One donation came from an individual who was selling theater seats from the old Central High School. The club planned to buy the seats at $40 each, but when the seller heard about the project, he donated them to the space.
"It's stuff like that which kept this project growing. We were amazed by the community support we found," said resource development director Jeff Woolverton.
The space is exclusively meant for teenagers, which Ashonti Young is grateful for.
"It's nice that we can get away from all the noise and get into this more quiet space," she said.