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New state-of the-art ‘Teen Center’ opens on Kadena

By: Theresa Amlong, 18th Services Squadron

Date Posted: 1999-06-19

The new ‘Teen Center Millennium’ on Kadena held its grand opening on June 12, which is great news for teens from 13 - 18 who now have a new state-of-the-art center in which to gather and call their own. The newly remodeled building on Vincent Avenue across from the library, once the home to a Child Development Center, now boasts a cyber café, juice bar, fitness room, and multi-purpose room which includes a dance floor with state-of-the-art sound system, video games, and pool tables.

In addition to daily activities, many programs are hosted throughout the year, such as trips, dances, tournaments, YES Program, Congressional Award program, Youth Employment and Mentorship Program. Piano lessons are offered at the center as well as Chapel Group Activities. In the future, an outdoor basketball court, volleyball court, horseshoe pit and barbecue are to be added.

Although teens that have graduated from high school may no longer use the center, they can gain skills by volunteering at the center. Teen members who help out with various activities are eligible to earn “Teen Bucks” which can be used towards trips. This center is not just for teens, parents can volunteer also.

At the opening ceremony, parents, teens and various community members were on hand as Robert Ackerman, Youth Activities Manager, served as Master of Ceremonies, 18 Services Squadron Chaplain Stewart lead the invocation, and Colonel William, L. Bledsoe, 18th Support Group Commander provided the opening remarks and conducted the ceremonial ribbon cutting. Assisting Col. Bledsoe in cutting the ceremonial ribbon were: Ms Deirdre Kinard, Kadena, PACAF and Far East Youth of the Year; Drew Rose, Bronze Congressional Award winner; Robert Marling; Andrew Lemons; Kianna Mason; Tinisha Denkins; and Luke Pope. A big “thank you” went out to 18th Civil Engineer Squadron for their help in the renovations.

The center is open noon to 9 p.m. during the week with extended hours on Friday and Saturday nights depending on the scheduled activities. Any teen visiting the center June 12 - 18 will receive a six-month free membership; any teen joining after the first week will receive a three-month free membership. Membership is just $24 a year and can be obtained by visiting the center in Bldg. 439, or calling 634-3866.

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