New teen center gives a safe haven in Monroe
MONROE — A new teen mentorship program has emerged looking to offer teens a safe place to hang out, seek resources, and receive one on one mentoring from a qualified volunteer at 17150 West Main St., Suite B in Monroe, between the St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store and 911 Driving School.
Angie Wyatt, head of the Teen Mentorship Program, noticed that there weren’t any easily accessible opportunities for teens to get one-on-one mentorship or zero-cost tutors in Monroe and wanted to create that opportunity for them. Since April, the idea behind the mentorship program is to pair the teen up with a mentor who is a specialist in the career field that the teen is interested in. If the teen doesn’t have a specific career interest, they will get a general mentor with the option to change to a particular field after a year.
“We are serving any teens who walk through our doors,” said Wyatt.
The Teen Mentorship Program space is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. Food is provided for the teens as well as access to computers and connections to get essential resources such as clothing, toiletries, and housing. The program hopes to help the teens in any way that they can even if the teen is not immediately interested in mentorship or tutoring.
“Eventually, we hope to establish enough funding to support our own permanent space where we can have open hours seven days a week,” said Wyatt.
A local organization has allowed the use of the current space for free, although Wyatt is looking to move to a more permanent location in the spring of next year. All of the current funding comes from angel donors. Wyatt works the location alone with only one other person so far and is looking for more volunteers to help out. They are also currently in need of food sponsors, teen books, mentors, and tutors. The program’s contact info can be found on their website thevillagementorshipprogram.com. The program also hopes to branch out to other towns beyond Monroe eventually.
“With our Mentorship Program, we will be starting to work out of the Sky Valley Teen Coalition Teen Center in Sultan to bring mentorship to teens in Sultan and Gold Bar as well,” said Wyatt.
The Village Mentorship Program will be partnering with Sky Valley Boys and Girls Club, Teen Coalition, and Volunteers of America to offer a free summer camp at the end of August. Breakfast, a snack, and lunch will be available for the kids. They plan to provide mental and physical health classes in the mornings, then a couple of “life” classes in the afternoons, Monday through Thursday. Friday, there will be what Wyatt calls a “Future Fair” where they will be inviting local businesses, unions, departments, and colleges to set up tents. Along with the tents, there are plans to bring in heavy machinery, fire trucks, police vehicles, a dump truck, and a semi-truck for the teens to get inside and experience.
Angie Wyatt can be contacted through the Teen Center at 425-351-7055 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The address is 17150 West Main St, Suite B, Monroe.
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