The Teen Support Coalition/Youth Community Project is dedicated to providing youth-created spaces in Carrboro/Chapel Hill, where young people can pursue their healthy desires for socializing, creative expression, self-determination and collective empowerment. We support youth to develop skills that instill self-esteem, build mutually supportive relationships and work to achieve their highest aspirations.
Our goal is to raise funding for teen gathering places run by and for local teens (with adult supervision). Our current vision is that of a centrally-located, nonprofit cultural center/cafe developed by the youth of our community to have a safe, non-commercial place to be with their peers. Our vision is based on the models of The Boiler Room (www.ptbr.org), and The Neutral Zone (www.neutral-zone.org).
We envision a large, bright space that will promote enjoyable, diverse, and meaningful interactions within a variety of activities, where teens will feel welcome to gather, socialize, play and perform, dance, express themselves, acquire skills of their choosing, explore opportunities, and enhance their recognition of the possibilities life holds for them.
The Youth Community Project (YCP), a diverse youth advisory board, was created in 2010 with youth from all four local high schools. The Teen Support Coalition is a group of adults that are working to make the vision of a youth center possible. YCP and TSC recently merged to form one board dedicated to achieving this goal.
TSC/YCP is affiliated with NC Choices for Youth, a nonprofit dedicated to helping young people choose paths of peace and service.
This year we have continued our infrastructure-building, and have applied for our own nonprofit status under our now working name - the Youth Community Project.
The youth of the Board held a Jewelry and Craft-fair in Carrboro High School, and formed partnerships with local cafes from which to hold open-mike events, some workshops, and train for running the Youth Cafe the organization intends to create. In the meantime, YCP created a "beginning Cafe" open mike venue inside Street Scene Teen Center, to practice in and offer the community the feel of a potential Youth Cafe of their own! Since we don’t have a physical space yet, we’ve spent the year building our skills and network so we’ll be ready when a space becomes available.
We’ve been continuing to learn how to plan, implement and evaluate our own programs by and for youth.
· So far we’ve led multi-session, community-based programs for teens about Stage Presence, Laughing Yoga, and Photography. Most recently YCP held an Emerging Artist workshop, and a Business Planning workshop. We’ve partnered with local experts and professionals for these.
YCP also assisted: the Town of Chapel Hill, and local youth groups the Chapel Hill Youth Council, Sacrificial Poets, Dominant Young Souls, and the Emerging Artist Series, in Street Scene Teen Center's Teen Week Youth Fest.
We have worked on furthering community partnerships and organizing events and youth workshops to heighten community awareness of our mission to create a teen center run by and for teens in Carrboro.
YCP intends to spend the summer conducting events in local venues and recruiting more youth to help continue the work of making the community aware of the need for a large Teen Cultural Cafe/center to hold many and diverse youth and youth groups at a time, and many different cultural activities.
We are currently making presentations to prospective donors and community partners. Please see our Support Us page to see how you can help to build the teen center.