Teen Center USA

Teen Center USA - Elk Grove is an organization that will strive to communicate the importance of education, public responsibility, physical fitness, and faith to young people.

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Address: 8978 Elk Grove Blvd
Elk Grove, CA 95624
County or Parish: Sacramento
Executive Director: Goldeen Smith
Contact Email: tcusaeg@frontier.com
Primary Phone: 916-686-6942
Fax: 916-686-5631
Website: http://www.teencenterusa.org
Founded in 1990, The Teen Center USA - Elk Grove was formed to communicate the importance of education, public responsibility, and physical fitness for the youth that we serve. The Teen Center has provided the core developmental building blocks for our community's teens' mental, physical, social, and spiritual well-being for over twenty five years. To achieve this goal, we have focused on supporting our youth through teen empowerment and boundary management. We also have high expectations for the youth that are involved in our program. Specifically, we work to ensure that our program participants use their time constructively, are committed to learning and are building solid values, self esteem and most importantly, their character.

The Teen Center has established positive relationships with hundreds of area teens each year, by providing them with a place to gather, sending them a positive message of truth and helping them to change the direction of their lives. The work of the teen center has been possible through partnerships with the City of Elk Grove, the Elk Grove Police Department, and several other community based organizations in Elk Grove.

Although we are proud of the work we have done, our community educators and civic leaders continue to be concerned about the number of teens at risk in the Elk Grove area. In fact, given the explosive growth of the Elk Grove community, there are many more teens than ever that are at risk. Specifically, more youth in our community are exposed to negative influences such as violent crime, child abuse, drugs, and poverty. As a result, many of these youth feel they are helpless to change their circumstance and feel their future is hopeless. The challenge we face is to find ways to help reduce the impact of these risk factors by identifying programs that can help to protect these children. As a result, we feel our programs are invaluable not only to the youth that we serve but also to the overall Elk Grove community.
Our organization relies primarily on private donations from individuals and businesses. You can make a difference in the lives of Elk Grove teens by sponsoring the Teen Center USA and its programs. Any gift you choose give goes a long way in providing a safe and positive environment for our teens!
Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Program - Mobile Teen Center: Maintenance of the RV, Administrative, and Program Costs.
  2. In-Kind Donations - Mobile Teen Center: Computers for homework area, Video game console for video game area. Drop In Center: various cleaning and office supplies, paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, pankcake mix, air hockey handles and pucks
  3. Volunteers - We are always looking for volunteers to help at our fundraising/program events including the annual Ken Duffy Memorial "Be the Change" Golf Tournament, annual Variety Show, Dinner, and Auction benefiting the Teen Center, and Teen Idol Vocal Competition. We also have opportunities to help in the office and with the upkeep of our social media sites. We also need the help of AP and Honors students to be tutors and mentors to the teens who come through the teen center daily. As the number of students who attend the Teen Center continues to grow, one of our biggest needs is for volunteers to come in during drop in hours, as well as our weekly Breakfast Club on Wednesday mornings to help mentor and build relationships with the youth that we serve. Mobile Teen Center: Drivers who would be willing to drive the RV twice/three times a week and also build positive relationships to the teens that we meet at each location.
  4. Space: Office or Other - The number of teens who drop in to the center have grown exponentially in the past several years; we would love to have more space to continue to grow not only in size but in the programs that we can offer.
  5. Board Members - Individuals who are passionate about advocating for teens and being ambassadors for the Teen Center.
"Teen Center USA has been in continuous operation for over 25 years, originally under the name Elk Grove Teen Center. We have a long history of providing all of our services and programs absolutely free to any teen who would like to take advantage of them from our weekly breakfast to our Opportunities For Change courses. Our ultimate goal is to have drop in centers near every middle and high school not only in our area but across the country with a central facility that would provide us with classrooms, computer labs, game rooms, gyms and kitchen facilities in each community. Although we have a number of great programs and services, I believe that our real success is in our Drop In Center mentoring program. Many of the teens that we serve are at risk teens coming from foster care, group homes, living with relatives, or from single parent families. Many of these teens do not believe that they have a future and at a young age have lost all hope of succeeding in life. Through our caring and dedicated staff, we are able to give those teens hope and to instill in them that they do have the opportunity for a bright and positive future. Only through building encouraging, nurturing, and caring relationships with our teens do we earn their respect and the opportunity to speak into their lives to affect a positive change in the direction that they are going. As you can imagine, many of the teens we serve are very angry and have been hurt many times in the past and thus are not trusting of any adult or authority figure, so it is a slow and many times frustrating process to earn their trust and confidence. However, it is extremely rewarding and fulfilling every time we see the breakthrough in the strongholds that are holding them back from having hope and wanting to succeed in life. Once those strongholds are torn down we start to see marked positive changes in their attitudes and actions, the desire to do well in school so that they can go to college, to help others rather than to use people for their own selfish benefit. They are able to take advantage of the programs that we have to offer rather than just to see themselves as the victim of their circumstances. We know that we have succeeded when we have taken a teen who would have become just a consumer and user of drugs in our community to one who will now be a producer and contributor in our community." Goldeen Smith Executive Director Teen Center USA