Creating a Safe Haven for Teens

A Recap of our Teen Center Event at the YMCA
COO Kim Benzan with teens at Church St Teen Center
March 25, 2024

This past Friday, our YMCA Teen Center hosted a free event that brought together 24 teens for an evening of fun, games, and socializing. This event aimed to provide a safe and inclusive space for teenagers to hang out and enjoy themselves. Here's a recap of the memorable night filled with laughter, camaraderie, and community spirit. 

The Teen Center at the Church St Y buzzed with excitement as friendships were forms and fun was had by all. Teens were greeted by YMCA staff and the inviting setup of video game consoles, foosball tables, March Madness games on the tv, and a spread of delicious food. 

Gaming Galore: One of the highlights of the evening was the gaming corner, where teens competing against each other in friendly matches. From intense battles in popular video games to cooperative challenges, every gamer found something to enjoy. The sound of laughter and cheers echoed through the room over shared victories and defeats of the gaming competition and the March Madness games on the tv.

 Food and Fellowship: No gathering is complete without delicious food, and our event was no exception. Teens savored a variety of snacks and refreshments, refueling themselves between games and conversations. The dining area became a hub of social activity, with laughter and chatter filling the air as everyone bonded over snacks and shared experiences. 

Building Connections: Beyond the games and food, the event offered something even more valuable: a sense of belonging. For many teens, the Teen Center is more than just a place to hang out—it's a second home where they can be themselves without judgment. The event provided an opportunity for them to connect with peers who share their interests and experiences, fostering a sense of community and acceptance. 

It is rewarding to see that our Teen Center achieves its goal of providing a safe and welcoming space for teens to unwind and have fun. The smiles on their faces and the bonds formed during the event are a testament to the positive impact of such gatherings. We look forward to hosting more events in the future and continuing to support our teens as they navigate the ups and downs of adolescence. In a world where teens face countless pressures and challenges, it's more important than ever to provide them with spaces where they feel valued and accepted. Our Teen Center event at our Church St YMCA exemplifies the power of community in creating a supportive environment for young people to thrive. By coming together to play, socialize, and connect, we are not just building friendships—we are building futures.