GRASS VALLEY, Calif. March 28, 2017 – The NEO Youth Center is celebrating their two-year anniversary this month. The Youth Center has become a popular spot for young people, with nearly 30 youth visiting on average each day, but on some days as many as 45. In just two years’ time the center has come to boast over 430 active members. The youth attending the center represent nearly every school in Western Nevada County; forming a diverse group of young people.
NEO strives to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices. Their Youth Center offers free after school drop-in hours for youth and young adults between the ages of 11-25 years old. During the drop-in hours young people are engaged in various activities including homework help, ping pong, foosball, crafts, video games, board games, sports, and more all in a safe and supervised environment. In addition, the center hosts workshops including yoga, dance, and video game design as well as weekend events, such as concerts, dances, open mic nights, and movie nights.
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“Our second anniversary is a major milestone for us,” explains NEO Co-Founder and Director of Operations, Lynn Skrukrud, “Over the decades there have been numerous attempts to create youth centers in our area, but all of them failed within the first year. When we set out to create our youth center we knew that we needed to do things differently in order to succeed. We wouldn’t have made it to where we are today without the support of the youth we serve and the support of the entire community.” NEO truly does do things differently. Everything they do is youth-led. Not only do the young people serve as mentors at the Youth Center, but they also help to choose and lead all of the activities that NEO offers. Their model is working. The number of youth attending the center has been growing exponentially with a 250% increase in membership since January 2016.
NEO is a 501(c)3 organization that was founded in 2008. The NEO Youth Center opened in March of 2015. NEO strives to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices by providing New Events and Opportunities in a safe environment that encourages youth success and contributes to a healthier community. To learn more or find out how you can support NEO visit www.ncneo.org or call 530-470-3869. The NEO Youth Center is located at 139 Joerschke Drive in Grass Valley, next to Bitney College Prep High School and Smiley Guys Smokehouse.