New Program & Center Launch: Teens Without Limit

Very few safe spaces and opportunities for academic support are available for the adolescents in the developing community of Huaycan. And today we are so glad to share that after months of dedicated efforts to put together a plan and a place to provide a safe & productive learning environment for adolescents, our “Teens Without Limits” program finally launched on Aug 30th. The inauguration evening bustled with a jubilant crowd of teenagers, parents and volunteers.

Teens Without Limit Youth Program: Light & Leadership Initiative
Teens Without Limit Youth Program: Light & Leadership Initiative

 The teen center meets the community need by providing a safe, educational space for teenagers; a high-risk age group. Students, parents and community leaders have regularly voiced this demand over time. It will also provide a dedicated space where at risk youth are able to be in a safe space, avoiding common adolescent high-risk behaviors and activities such as violence, gang participation, theft, drugs, and unprotected sex. Additionally, LLI’s adolescent students can come from disruptive homes–LLI provides a space free of abuse or other unhealthy stressors present in homes.

 Along with safety & support, LLI Teens Without Limit program aims at achieving multifold objectives:

  1. Increase access to academic resources including computers, resource materials and walk-in personalized academic support.
  2. Increase English language skills through intensive adolescent English courses offered three evenings a week.
  3. Improve access to books and offer library sessions to improve their reading comprehension skills and encourage a reading for pleasure culture.
  4. Encourage teen leadership and community engagement through youth management structure and youth driven community impact projects.
  5. Provide opportunities to build new skills–special events and classes. Also, offer new social environments and settings to build social skills among their peers from different schools.
  6. Promote cultural understanding by establishing inter-cultural relationships between teens and volunteers.

Further more, It is also a place where LLI can focus attention on our current students that are transitioning to their teenage years. A desire to distance themselves from younger students and their childhood spaces, and an increased need for independence, has often driven away star students as they entered their teens. The LLI Teen Student Center will help retain these students by creating a physical space that reflects their new identity and cater to their specific needs. Student retention strengthens the LLI community, improves student performance and is an essential component in working towards our intended impact.

The student center is centrally located within Huaycan and is open to all adolescents four days a week: Monday, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Due to school schedules, the center will open in the afternoon and early evening. It will function as a drop-in center offering homework help, library sessions and book check-out system, intensive English classes, art classes and a computer lab with laptops for homework. The open door policy creates scheduling flexibility, which is important for students in this age range, as many help to support their family with jobs that conflict with the current class times. By having an open door policy students don’t have to sacrifice the additional opportunities offered by LLI for family responsibilities.  As with all of LLI’s programs, there is no cost to participate.

LLI volunteers will be present during all open hours to oversee the day-to-day activities but a ‘Teen Leadership Committee’ will be an integral aspect of the decision making process. They will have a leading role in organizing monthly events such as: community service, movie nights, fundraising, health workshops and discussions, sporting events and more.

Here, a few teens play Jenga at the end of the night

Jenga

Estrella STAYING to read!!!!! So adorable.

Estrella

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