Fort Valley Youth Center of Excellence reviving with community help
"We're excited because this city is in need of youth mentors and adult mentors as well so we're just glad to see this opening back up."
FORT VALLEY, Georgia(41NBC/WMGT)— In 2020, the Fort Valley Fort Valley Youth Center of Excellence closed due to the pandemic. Now, the community is coming together to help revive it.
“We’re going to do remediation, some type of stem program, we’re going to do life skills. Where we’re going to teach them about health eating, exercising, financial management,” said CEO of the center, Belinda Baker.
She says they want to be more than just an after school center. They want to be a strong asset to the community.
“We want to help the students in the afternoon, we’re hoping to grow to help adults in the mornings. To help them receive some type of training,” Baker said.
Opening again comes with a lot of help needed. That’s why Dr. Michael Edwards, a native from Fort Valley, traveled from Virginia to donate to the center.
“We brought a lot of things down in terms of stem apparatus, laboratory equipment, office desks, classroom desks a lot of supplies and materials for kids that we think will be useful to the center,” he said.
Dr. Edwards runs a youth center in Virginia. He says giving back will help impact youth from an education perspective.
Fort Valley State University students in the ‘Boys to Men’ mentoring program, also took part in helping unload the truck on Friday. Aundreus Maning, Director of the program, says their goal is to be a role model.
“We’re excited because this city is in need of youth mentors and adult mentors as well so we’re just glad to see this opening back up,” said Maning.
The center plans to open its doors with a summer camp.
If you would like to volunteer at the center, visit the center at 500 Riley Avenue in Fort Valley.