Inner City Youth Center and Student Union

The White Light Group understands there is no more valuable resource in the world than our children. As parents and adults we must insure that our children be provided with a safe environment and productive future. We are dedicated to providing the opportunities and resources to inner city children to keep them off the street, promote higher education, develop creativity and provide the tools for children, preteens and teens to be afforded with the means to make positive change in their lives. Our future and the future of our country will depend on the next generations of adults believe that they can contribute to a better future for them and their children. By investing in our children today in a productive manner we can instill our children with the inspiration and determination to achieve their dreams. The youth centers that we have been designing and developing have drawn attention and the partnership with groups such as Digital Live Wire, Inc. and many others that have joined us to make these projects a reality and to provide support that allows the centers to offer services that appeals to today’s youth.

The crime rate of children between the ages of 11 to 18 is on the rise. In cities across the country the highest group contributing to suicide rates in communities are children. Our children are turning to other children in order to cope with the fast pace world around them and to deal with greater stress levels in their lives. Gangs in larger cities have become our children’s baby sitters or extended families. Today children as young as 8 years of age are being pressed into street gangs in low income and poverty communities. More children are dieing on streets today than ever before in gang related conflicts. After school programs and teen centers are becoming even more of a vital resource to keeping children off the streets and out of gangs. Creating a safe and productive environment for preteens and teens is very important to their continued safety and growth. We are dedicated to making positive change in peoples lives and what better place to start than with the children of a community.

The Youth Center coordinates after school programs and activities for youth 8-18 years of age. The After School Youth Programs is not a baby-sitting or childcare facility, but a dedicated youth program to improve the quality of life for children in the community. This center is to improve personal development skills in all youth by offering programs and services in the areas of academics, computer technology, employability skills, personal enrichment, improved study skills, life skills, art, youth counseling, and recreation, for high-risk youth and others.

The academic program provides training in literacy, math, science, computers, Internet, business administration, counseling, testing services, life skills and other fundamentals, and promotes academic achievement, sound critical achievement, strong moral and ethical values, and behaviors. Youth programs are vital to the well being of our children and their continued growth. Public schools are dramatically under funded and local government agencies cannot provide youth programs which inner cities desperately need. Social and peer pressures are mounting on our children, as concerned professionals and parents we cannot keep up with the problems which our children face each and every day. After School Youth Programs implemented in the private sector in which parents and local schools participate is one answer to providing a future to the children in inner city communities. The White Light Group has designed several Youth Centers over the years.

The West Wing of the main facility – focal point to the center offers an area for students to meet and congregate. This section offers games and a food court in which they can purchase food at affordable rates that are comfortable to pre-teens and teens. In addition to two large meeting/class rooms, there is an administration and security office, plus two fully equipped professional digital recording studios to promote interest in music with professional guidance in teaching them to mix and record their own music.

Today’s youth are demonstrating strong interests in technology and in music such as hip-hop, rap and other forms of creative expression. By incorporating digital recording studios in this facility we are able to generate health interests in preteens and teens. The Digital Recording Studios are highly insolated with soundproof walls, floors and ceilings to insure that production work and music doesn’t disturb the rest of the facility. Professionals from the community will work with teens manage the audio and video recording studios. This facility is designed to not only work with musically inclined preteens and teens, but individuals interested in multimedia, the entertainment industry, digital production and editing. There are two statements that are thought provoking; “Each new generation is more intelligent than the last generation” and “The only bad child is a bored child.” In this age of technologies and fast pace life styles, our children need greater productive challenges, tools and resources to stimulate their minds and interests. By challenging youth to reach above their skill levels and learn cutting edge technology, which better prepares them for the real world with hands on experience working with professionals and advanced technologies.

The Youth Center and Student Union truly offers a vital source of student and teen resources never offered in one facility before. We cannot place a price tag on the well-being and safety of our children, but we can work to help ensure that our children have opportunities to be themselves, to have real resources to help them develop, to be more productive, have a safe environment and to be happy, which is what the center inspires to provide.

Making things affordable for pre-teens and teens is important for the success of this center. The center will establish reward programs with local schools, in which students can win, discount coupons, free food and Internet access for each academic grade they improve in school. Pre-teens and teens will learn that their hard work in school offers more than a pat on the back and a job well done. By giving students something to work towards it offers incentive in improving grades.

The East Wing of the center offers pre-teens and teens a relaxing place to congregate to study and to quietly socialize. This facility offers 16 state-of-the-art personal computers loaded with the latest professional software including Microsoft Office Professional, Corel Professional Suite, Adobe Graphics Suite, 3D modeling, animation, web design, web development, flash production, audio and video production, with teen safe Internet connection to stimulate their creativity and assist them in their studies. Parents and professional volunteer instructors from the community will be on hand to assist students in all technical aspects. In addition to a living room styled comfortable lounge area and tables for students to enjoy, this section boasts a wide variety of literary and academic related library to help students with their studies and assigned homework. The Center will operate at times (between the hours of 12pm and 8pm Monday through Friday and from 8am to 8pm on Saturday and Sundays) when teens are most often exposed or influenced to unacceptable behavior through street gangs and peer pressures.

This building is a key focal point to the success in making an impact in the community. First there is a larger administration office, which works with the local community to plan day-to-day operations and interaction with local youth. A larger Security Office, which allows security officers to deal with youth conflicts and gang related problems. The security office houses a wide range of close circuit video and audio systems that covers ever foot of the complex. Creating and maintaining a safe environment is paramount to protecting children while their enjoying the center. Each child, preteen and teen will be issued a photo ID so that security can make sure that only approved members are enjoying the center. Any child, preteen and teen can join this community youth center. Gang activity and gang related paraphernalia (such as gang colors, weapons of any type, symbols, etc.) would not be allowed on or in the Youth Center and grounds. This building will have an open Youth Counseling Center with counselors on hand to work with youth to assist them in dealing with peer pressure, broken homes, gangs, drug abuse, physical and emotional abuse, etc or just to lend an ear when children just need to be heard. This Counseling Center will have all the necessary resources and affiliations with other state and national youth groups and services in order to provide the very best support that can be offered.

The Art Center – It has been proven that art and creativity is one of the best forms of therapy to help children express their feelings and deal with suppressed emotional problems. To stimulate the creative imagination of a child is important in developing an emotionally well-balanced individual. Art and creativity is a vital aspect to develop in children at an early age and is even more important for preteens and teens to develop creative skills for emotional outlet.