Amount Requested: $7,000 for Verona Youth Center
Mission: To provide a place where the Verona community and its neighbors can come together for fellowship, service, worship, meetings and recreation in a safe and convenient environment promoting wholesome values and community cooperation.
Activities to fulfill mission: no-pay internet cafe; youth center; five rooms of various sizes available to civic groups, religious organizations, and businesses for meetings, training, celebrations, concerts, and fundraisers. The community center management has a particular interest in providing life skills programs for local citizens of all ages, especially those struggling with finances, addictions, and relationships. The youth center will help fill a particular need in our community for a gathering place for youth where activities and programs can be held to improve the lives of area middle and high schoolers.
Constituents Served: Civic and religious groups, age-level groups, private citizens, and businesses in the Verona area.
Program Overview: With the opening of Verona’s first community center in March 2016, the center’s board is particularly concerned with the lack of meeting and recreation space for our local youth. The community center has committed a significant portion of its space to this need. While the community has already contributed audio-visual equipment, furniture, and recreational equipment for the center, our greatest need will be the establishment of an on-going, regular program addressing the particular needs and challenges of our youth. Funding will be used for 1) research into the most critical needs of our youth and identifying established programs that may help meet those needs; 2) hosting speakers, concerts, and other events that will attract and bond our youth to each other in a positive way; 3) improving cooperation between local church and civic groups focused on youth ministry and outreach.
Our churches and many businesses have experienced consistent problems with vagrancy, vandalism, and break-ins involving youth in our local neighborhoods. Those groups that try to provide programs for youth have no large central gathering place specifically dedicated to and equipped for youth programs. We believe this one center and its programs will make a significant and lasting difference in the lives of our youth. With sufficient funding and dedicated volunteers, we plan to have the youth program fully operational by September 2016.
Since August 2015 we have raised over $110,000 in direct support from the Verona community for the center, and significant donations of furnishings and equipment, and had speakers share information at the local business association, in churches, and with civic groups – resulting in additional verbal commitments of support.
Current Operating Budget: $119,480
Program Budget: $17,000