JACKSONVILLE, FL / August 28, 2019 – Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida is opening the doors of its first stand-alone teen center, the Citi Teen Center, to Jacksonville teenagers, ages 13 – 18. The new teen center will be one of Jacksonville’s only teen-exclusive centers, specifically designed to provide local youth with a safe place after school to learn new skills, have fun with friends, and prepare for their future success.
An iconic Club with a rich history in Springfield, the Citi Teen Center was built in 1967, and was known then as the Laurence F. Lee Boys Club of Jacksonville - named after the Club’s founder, Laurence F. Lee. Today, the nearly 2,000 sf building has been completely remodeled with a new gym, state-of-the art computer and virtual reality lab, robotics program, dance studio, and music studio, to help teens find their passion.
In partnership with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, part of the Springfield Bicycle Police Unit will operate out of the Citi Teen Center. “Part of what makes the Citi Teen Center special are the partnerships we’ve formed to serve the community,” said Paul Martinez, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida. “Safety is our number one priority, but we’re looking beyond just keeping our members safe and are working with JSO to keep our neighborhoods safe,” said Mr. Martinez.
“We’re looking forward to serving the Springfield community and building positive relationships with local young people. It’s important for them to know we’re here to serve and protect them,” said Rickie Valentine, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant.
Northeast Florida STEM2Hub is working together with Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida to make STEM education available to Citi Teen Center members. STEM education is an important step in developing tomorrow’s engineers, scientists, mathematicians and technology leaders. The partnership offers Citi Teen Center members with robotics programs, programing lessons, and virtual reality equipped computer lab to help our young people develop skills to make them employable.
“STEM occupations are growing at almost double the rate of other jobs in the United States. It’s important to provide young people the tools they need to pursue fields in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Kathleen Schofield, CEO of STEM2Hub.
The Citi Teen Center will include a cosmetology salon and barbershop for teens interested in learning skills to pursue careers in cosmetology and hairdressing. For students interested in other careers, the College & Career Readiness Center will have staff available to help Club members craft a professional resume, prepare for job interviews and practice mock interviews.
The Citi Teen Centers also features a print and embroidery shop where students will learn how to embroider clothing, design and print signs, and learn how to manage orders. For more creative members, the Citi Teen Center contains a music production and recording studio, dance studio, and drone racing program. There is something exciting for every teen at our Citi Teen Center.