[NPI Float="left"]/Media/3/jpg/2009/12/9e48f730-dabf-a152-9cc1cdc743ea3e94.jpg[/NPI] The long anticipated “hang out” for teens is open. More than a year of meetings, research and cost analysis made the dream a reality.
Nancy Roy, Palomar Pomerado Health Community Action Council liaison, said the center is a “drop-in/drop-out” location for teenagers between seventh and twelfth grades.
“This is a place teens can come after school to hang out with friends, play games, get on the computers and just have some fun,” said Roy.
The center is a safe location for teens after school.
“We don’t babysit them and they are allowed to come and go as they please,” said Roy. “There are rules in place to ensure the safety of the teens that choose to come here (a code of conduct) but at the same time no one is expected to ‘check in’ with anyone.”
Because of the lack of adult volunteers to oversee the program, the center has extremely limited hours, said Roy. Center organizers hope to get more adult volunteers as awareness spreads throughout the community about the new resource for Ramona’s teens.
“The Ramona Unified School District has provided the space for us to use,” said Roy. “It is where Ramona Community School and Mountain Valley Academy used to hold their classes on Montecito Road.”
Funding is also holding back the center’s growth.
“We are currently waiting on our approval as a non-profit,” explained Roy. “We expect approval to come through by the end of January.”
Until the nonprofit designation is finalized and volunteers can be established, the center will remain open two days a week.
Kim Lasley has been an indispensable part of the project, said Roy. “She is always right there and in front when something needs to get done. She is amazing.”
Donations of time, materials and labor came from Gregg Lucas and his crew at the Millwork Co. Irena Lucas from Kastel Coz Sport Horses provided the banners and piano, and Gina Lucas developed the Web site, said Roy.
The center’s Web site is www.arribaramona.org.
Though the computer lab is not quite up and running yet, it is expected to be online within the month. In the meantime, teens can drop in to play ping-pong, pool, air hockey, or just hang out with their friends a couple of days a week.
For more information or to volunteer as an adult monitor, contact Roy at 760-315-1000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The center is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at 1710 Montecito Road.