The Station - Teen Center for Advancement unveiled with excitement in Decatur.
Community leaders and special guests were on hand as CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Jim Clark, hosted the Grand Opening of The Station - Teen Center for Advancement on April 8th. This event celebrated the opening of the newly renovated Fire Station 4 in Decatur as one of the area's premier youth development facilities.
"Why do we need teen centers like The Station? Just take a look at the increase in suicide and depression in young people today and it’s easy to see why every community should have a place where young people can go to receive guidance, mentorship, and accountability from people they trust. Many of the young people we serve will tell you that the hope, support, opportunities, and relationships they experienced at the Boys & Girls Clubs saved their lives." - Patrick Wynn/CEO BGCNAL
The Station is the latest of 8 Teen Centers that the Boys & Girls Clubs operate across Morgan, Madison, Limestone, and Jackson counties that are specifically designed to serve teens ages 13-18 by providing them with a safe and positive place to connect with others, discover new experiences, and make plans for their future. With a mission to “reach all young people, especially those who need us the most”, The new Teen Center for Advancement in Decatur was always a part of the vision for expansion in Morgan County that began with the restoration of the aging 3rd Street Boys & Girls Club in 2018.
"Teens need an environment that they can call their own to develop a sense of identity and begin to recognize their potential. We knew that the Fire Station would be the perfect place to give them that opportunity and we’re so thankful to everyone who has worked so hard to bring this vision to life.” - Edwin Lightbourne, BGCNAL Director of Career Development.
Each Teen Center has a unique look and feel, and The Station will be no different with a Fire Station theme that will focus on honoring the local fire and rescue heroes who dedicated their lives to keeping Northwest Decatur safe. This space will feature designated Lounge and Gaming areas as well a Study Zone equipped with the latest technology, including a STEM lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and art, music, and fitness areas.
The Station will also offer academic, prevention, and self-development programs like Career Launch, Passport to Manhood, SMART Girls, Money Matters, and others, as well as scholarship opportunities through its Youth of the Year program. In addition, the new facility will also provide expanded opportunities to develop new Workforce Development programs in partnership with local businesses and organizations as well as additional volunteer options for the community.