Reaching Out to Local Youth During Hard Times

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As kids, our imagination allows us to think of many ideas, even though they may not work.

As we get older, our knowledge becomes more concrete with facts and statistics, leaving out more of the fun.

However, several local businesses are looking to spark the interest for kids again.

"Science is really exciting and fun, but when you get to high school, the fun aspect of it might get taken out,” mentions Science Zone Executive Director Steven Schnell. “We want to kind of reinject that fun for what we do. And also give them some career readiness skills, so they can build their resumes and really help find them jobs later on."

With the renewal of the 21st Century Community Learning Center grants, Mercer Family Resource Center staff are reaching out to older kids, working with them to help with different ideas on what careers they may be interested in and how to really focus on their skills.

"One exciting thing I think, in that new apath system we use, is the fact that we started using that about five years ago and we're seeing that growth every year, and it's really inspiring to see that growth, " commented Keri Owen of Mercer.

And of course, finding a new passion, or brushing up on old ones, is also a possibility.

"This is a five year grant, and we're excited to build on to it each and every year. And to bring in new contents, new ensembles, new skills each and every year for all of students to have the opportunity to do," Amy Munsell of VIBES tribe said.

With a large focus on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the possibilities for teens are limitless.

Mercer family resource center has received this grant for the past fifteen years, and staff hopes to continue reaching out to younger generations and provide valuable resources.