August 17, 2022

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RVA Boys & Girls Club receives $200K grant for shopping mall turned teen center

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – A $200,000 grant will fund the first year of operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond’s new teen center, according to a release from the organization.

The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust awarded the grant to support the first year of operations and programming for the teen center slated to open this summer. The trust was established by a chemist and industrialist of the same name and often focuses on struggling education systems, underserved communities and poverty.

The 16,000-square-foot teen center, located in the former Eastlawn Shopping Center in the East End, will help teens and young adults advance their education, prepare for higher education and explore career paths. The center will also help individuals develop social, emotional and technological skills.

Flexible spaces featuring an auditorium, a home theater, coaching spaces, mindfulness spaces, a community cafe, and art and sound studio will work toward the center’s mission.

More than $5 million in donations from corporations, individuals and foundations went toward purchasing the former shopping center and transforming it.

“Our current Club facilities were designed to provide out-of-school time experiences primarily for elementary-aged boys and girls,” said Sean Miller, CEO of Metro Richmond’s Boys & Girls Clubs. “Metro Richmond’s middle, high school, and young adults have long-needed their own, larger spaces that meet their developmental needs and offer culturally relevant experiences with their peers. Teens and young adults between the ages of 19-23, sometimes referred to as opportunity youth, are particularly underserved populations in our region.”

Learn more about the teen center at this link.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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