After years of hard work by dedicated teen interns, volunteers and staff as part of a community-wide movement, the long-awaited construction of the Brookline Teen Center has begun.
The state-of-the-art center is being built in the heart of Brookline Village at 40 Aspinwall Ave. Membership will be open to all 7-12th grade-aged kids who attend school or live in Brookline. The Teen Center's goal is to provide a safe, enjoyable, environment where teens can enjoy constructive, educational, and leisure activities. In the process, it seeks to develop and empower diverse leaders who will enrich the community in return.
Paul Epstein initially conceived of the idea of a Teen Center back in 2005. In the years that followed, more than 100 teen interns spent their summers working side-by-side with adult professionals conceptualizing the center, creating the architectural plans, developing a website and brochure, crafting by-laws and rules of conduct, and engaging donors. Numerous fundraising events, community education drives and countless numbers of people from the community dedicated their time and energy to help the Center get to the point where breaking ground was possible.
As of early this year, the Teen Center, under the leadership Tom Mendelsohn, who came on as Interim Executive Director in July 2010, was on its way to achieving their $10M goal. In May 2012, Matthew Cooney was named the Executive Director and tasked with leading the organization through completion of the capital campaign, ground breaking and the Center's eventual opening.
Fundraising efforts continue, as ground-breaking is a significant, but not the final goal. When completed, the Teen Center will fill a gap in Brookline, which has no dedicated youth center, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club or JCC. To support the Teen Center by making a donation, visit them online at brooklineteencenter.org
By Catie Hayes, Editor