January is going to be an exciting time at The Launch Pad.
In early 2022, the all-inclusive teen space in Prescott will open the doors of its new facility, a 6,000-square-foot warehouse on 6th Street.
The new location will be a "one-stop-shop" for youth, with a coffee café, computer lab, classrooms, dance floor, stage, music production studio, art studio, workshop area, and lots of outdoor space surrounded by a community garden.
Teens will be able to come after school and find everything from a quiet nook for doing their homework to a rowdy room for playing games. In addition, the Launch Pad will provide exciting volunteer opportunities, clubs to join, and - for those interested in learning about running a small business - paid apprenticeships at its coffee shop.
The Launch Pad offers educational and social opportunities that encourage learning, community involvement, and personal development. Their unique programs emphasize health, happiness, and success while helping teens develop meaningful friendships and a strong sense of self.
The Launch Pad started as an idea that developed as a response to a series of community meetings regarding the needs of teens in the Quad City Area. It began in a spare room of a church, then got its own space, which it has outgrown over the years. Although it won’t have it’s own drop-in “pad” until January, The Launch Pad is still reaching teens through programs at schools.
Mentorship plays a big role at The Launch Pad.
As an example, the program offers Boys to Men, which uses group discussions and a “Rights of Passage” weekend to help young men grow into engaged members and leaders in our community. Meanwhile, the Academic Mentorship Program takes a strengths-based approach to help teens excel in school. The program is supplemental to classroom learning and designed for teens who need one-on-one help raising and maintaining their grades. More than 80% of the teens in the program have improved their grades with the support of The Launch Pad’s mentors.
Every fall, the teen center gives local youth a chance to break out of their shell through a five-day canoe trip in the Black Canyon. On the trip, teens camp out in the wilderness, develop essential life skills, discover their leadership strengths, and improve conversational skills - all while building friendships.
Finally, when the new pad opens in January, it will also offer a safe space where teens can access mental health services. The new facility will have a “mental health room” with its own private entrance and local therapists will offer discounted or free sessions to teens in need.
UWYC staff members recently took a tour of the warehouse and we were very impressed. We can’t wait to see how it all looks when it formally opens in just a few weeks.