BANGOR — The United Way of Eastern Maine is the first community partner to designate funds to the Bangor Region YMCA’s new Youth Engagement Center. This program space will offer drop-in programming for area youth to access after school, in the evenings, and on the weekends, completely free of charge. The Youth Engagement Center has been developed in response to a Community Needs Assessment which identified safe spaces for teens as one of the top needs in our region.
This teen center will provide a low-barrier, safe place for youth to spend time with peers and healthy role models. It also will support numerous programs such as leadership clubs, mentor programs, homework support, job readiness programs, and mental health support services.
The United Way of Eastern Maine has provided $17,300 to fund vital program equipment such as books, whiteboards, monthly supplies, healthy snacks, clothing for job interviews, and more.
“We could not be more grateful to the United Way of Eastern Maine for being the first community partner to step up and fund this project. Since their pledge, the University of Maine School of Social Work has pledged to provide graduate level interns to support the program, and we are in discussions with other community partners about funding other portions of the project. The United Way truly is a community leader and a wonderful partner to help us serve the needs of our area’s youth” said Diane Dickerson, YMCA CEO.
The Youth Engagement Center plans to open its doors at the Bangor Region YMCA on Second Street at the beginning of the school year in September. They are still in need of funding for other important portions of the project. To learn more or get involved, please contact Diane Dickerson, CEO of the Bangor Region YMCA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-941-2808.