Thursday, November 18, 2010

Local Service Spotlight: Worcester Youth Center

Homeless and at risk youth can most often be found hanging out on the streets, in parks, at convenience stores, etc. Often they do not have any place to go to fill those hours between school (if they are still attending) and sleep.

In Worcester, we are lucky enough to have the Worcester Youth Center, a facility founded in 1994 through a partnership between youth and adults. This center provides youth with educational, recreational, and social activities on weekdays.

The Worcester Youth Center Mission
The mission of the Worcester Youth Center is "to provide a place where youth can build lasting, positive changes in their lives" (Worcester Youth Center Website). The center ensures that their programs operate on a youth empowerment and development model, focusing on the following key areas:
  • Leadership
  • Health and Wellness
  • Education
  • Employability
The center offers various programs including movie nights, GED/Basic Skills, and Work Readiness. They recently extended their hours to not only cover weekdays, but also Saturday afternoons.

Location/Hours of Operation
Mondays-Fridays: 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

326 Chandler Street
Worcester, MA 01602

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Join Our Team - November 23rd!!!

That's right. Our monthly volunteer orientation is coming up. Save the date:

Tuesday, November 23rd
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Worcester Public Library
Saxe Conference Room
3 Salem Square
Worcester, MA

What is a volunteer orientation?
The volunteer orientation will provide you with an overview of the youth homelessness statistics both nationally and locally, what StandUp For Kids is, and how you can get involved.

What happens after volunteer orientation?

All volunteers are required to have background checks and then attend a 3 hour basic volunteer training. 3 hours might seem like a lot but it goes by pretty fast and provides you with a good foundation for your volunteer experience with SUFK.

For those who plan to become outreach counselors, an additional 3 hour outreach training is required. This is an interactive training which provides you with an introduction to street outreach and our core services for the youth of Worcester.

How can I volunteer?

The great thing about our program is that we have a variety of roles you can take on whether you want to work from home on marketing materials or work with our kids directly through street outreach.

As a volunteer for over 3 years now, I've had the ability to experience pretty much every element of the program. There have been times when I can only contribute from behind-the-scenes with general support. The group is pretty flexible.

Of course, for the outreach counselors, we do ask that you provide at least a six month commitment of four hours a month. It is important for our youth to see consistent faces on a regular basis. They are in need of consistency and people they can count on. Our number one goal is to provide at-risk and homeless youth with people who care and who they can trust.

Want to learn more about our program? Attend the volunteer orientation and I'll try to answer as many questions as I can about this great opportunity to join the SUFK - Worcester family.

- Kristina England
SUFK - Worcester Volunteer