Alive Center Expands Offerings to Glen Ellyn YMCA

Handout photo of group of people at the Alive Center
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The Alive Center is expanding its offerings out to Glen Ellyn, thanks to a partnership with the B.R. Ryall YMCA of Northwestern DuPage County.

New Program Is Thanks To Transformational Grant

The BR. Ryall YMCA will be using a $253,000 transformational grant it received from the DuPage Community Transformational Partnership for the new program, aimed at supporting the Y’s teen mental health initiative.

“After searching far and wide to find a program model that would support the needs of youth in our community, we were excited to find the perfect program model and partner,” said Rob Wilkinson, B.R. Ryall YMCA CEO. “This partnership with the Alive Center will provide our Y with the tools, training and resources to bring a proven model to support teens and families in our community.”

Current Model To Be Used

The program will be based on current models the Alive Center uses. This Teen-Led Teen-Driven (TLTD) program covers 12 of the 15 stated protective factors of the Youth Mental Health First Aid USA training manual, which are geared to help prevent mental health issues from developing. After school drop-in hours, tutoring programs, mentoring, and events are all part of the planned protocol.

Alive Center Founder and CEO Kandice Henning says, “We are really excited to bring our proven model of engaging with teens to the B.R. Ryall YMCA. We find ourselves in the middle of a youth mental health crisis. Brick-and-mortar preventive spaces such as the Alive Center are crucial parts of the solution. The partnership with the YMCA aligns with the Alive Center’s desire to leverage its model to benefit more youth in areas beyond its current coverage of Naperville, Aurora and Hanover Park.”

About the Alive Center

The Alive Center has been in operation since 2012. The nonprofit is focused on giving teens a safe place to build connections, find their passions and learn leadership skills.

The new program in Glen Ellyn will be geared toward 6th through 12th graders, and will be free of charge. It’s set to begin in 2023. The Alive Center will be setting up a teen advisory board for teens interested in getting leadership experience.

Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports

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