Wish comes true for local youths

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Interim teen center expected to open in 30 days

By Kirsten Laskey

Los Alamos teenagers dreaming of a place to call their own have little more than 30 days to wait. The Los Alamos County Council granted the longtime wish to local youth through its unanimous approval of a new teen center near the high school.
During its Dec. 21 regular meeting, council approved a $189,327 contract with the Family YMCA to operate an interim teen center. The contract has an effective date of Jan. 15 and the goal is to open the center on Feb. 14.
Funds to conduct a study regarding the project were approved last year. The temporary teen center will operate while work is completed to establish a permanent center.
“It’s important that we invest in this facility and that’s why I was so pleased when Councilor (Vincent) Chiravalle said ‘let’s not pinch pennies with our youth,’” YMCA Executive Director Linda Daly said. “What we know with data from teens, from families and from the recent community assessment is that the teens are really underserved. There is no place for our youth to go to after 8 p.m. on any given night. And teens have decided they would like to have a place to gather, to socialize, to study and have food. There is no current place for them to do that.”

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