The Osage Nation Boys & Girls Club opened a Teen Center last month to simply give teens a place to go.
The ON Boys & Girls Club did a survey two years ago at the Pawhuska Junior High. The ten-question survey was designed to see what teen’s interests were.
“The overall concensus was that teens didn’t wanted to be mixed in with the younger children at the Boys & Girls Club,” said Faith Allison, Chief Professional Officer for the ON Boys & Girls Club. “So it was something for us to work toward.”
As part of their job, the ON Boys & Girls Club provides programs and services that promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.
Traditionally, the Boys & Girls Club was geared toward children 6-12 years old, said Ida Doyle, director of the Osage Nation Education Department.
The grand opening for the Teen Center in Pawhuska was on Monday, October 15. They had pizza, paintball and a dance off. Doyle said they had a great turn out for the event.
Currently, about 10 teens utilize the Teen Center on a regular basis.
“I know we can impact more than ten kids,” said Allison (Citizen Potawatomi). “We just need their input so we can provide what they need or what they are looking for.”
Currently, the Boys & Girls Club has a reading room, pool tables, a basketball court and a media room. They are also looking to get a SMART board installed.
In addition, they always have a male and female on staff during the Teen Center hours. They also have group discussions once or twice a week.
“We want teens to realize we are open and here for them,” Allison said.
Doyle said teens can come to the Teen Center to do homework, hang out or both.
Allison wants the Teen Center to be an extension of a teen’s social life.
“We want to provide resources, guidance and a health, safe, character building place for teens to go,” said Doyle (Osage). “We encourage all teens to come up and enjoy the Teen Center.”
The Teen Center is opened Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.