It’s the Alive Center’s fifth birthday this month, and though they’re not able to throw a big party, that’s not stopping them from celebrating anyway.
“We Started From Scratch”
“When we started five years ago we started from scratch, so from absolutely nothing and grew this thing from that to what it is now,” said Alive Center CEO and Founder Kandice Henning. “So to be helping so many kids in the community and to be a respected organization and to be such an important part of this community means a tremendous amount to us.”
Nabila Qadri started attending the Alive Center in its first year, and said it helped develop her leadership skills and confidence.
“There was nothing set up there was construction going on in the back and really it was a blank canvas where you could come in, you could create whatever you wanted to,” said Qadri. “I was a sophomore in high school and now I’m in grad school. So the fact that the Alive Center is still impacting me is absolutely incredible.”
How Alive Has Adapted
Ten thousand teens and two more Alive Center locations later, the nonprofit is now adapting its programming to the stay-at-home order, but their team is getting creative to continue their mission.
The center hosts a daily zoom drop-in with different activities each session.
“The kids that come to the drop in, they miss the social aspect of it and just seeing their friends there I feel like this still gives them a way to see each other again,” said Alexa Betjemann, the previous co-president of Alive’s Teen Advisory Board.
The month-long fundraiser will help support activities like the drop-in. The nonprofit is asking for donations of $5, $55, or $555, with the goal of reaching $10,000 by the end of May,
That will go a long way in keeping the Alive Center around for awhile longer.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.