Local News

You Matter 2 seeks input on idea of developing community center focused on teens

Does Homewood need a teen community center? You Matter 2 is seeking community-wide input on the question, especially from local school administrators, school faculty, staff, parents and students in seventh through 12th grade. 

You Matter 2 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to inspire and empower youth to be world changers. Destiny Watson, founder of the organization, wants to the center to promote the feelings of safety and connectedness she experienced growing up. 

Watson remembers teen nights hosted at the Irwin Community Center located in Homewood, where food was provided and there were opportunities to interact with other youth in the area. She wants traditions like that to continue for today’s generation of teens. 

”I think it is important to give teens a space to go outside of school. Whether it is a program that supplements their well being or helps youth discover themselves,” she said.



Some of the offerings she envisions in the teen community center include a free youth and family clinical services that will accessible outside of school hours. She also envisions special interest programs that can enrich students, such as STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math), service project learning and entrepreneurship. 

In a recent report published by the Afterschool Alliance, youth in Illinois experience key benefits of being in an afterschool program. Some of the highest outcomes include keeping children out of trouble, giving working parents a peace of mind and building key life skills.

Watson wants to be able to offer more support to the school districts and parents, especially after school, where having productive activities matter the most. The center would serve as Homewood’s safe space for teens to commune and grow with each other, she said.

“The teen community center will be a safe space for youth and provide activity options outside of the school,” states Watson.

The survey is available online. It will close on Sunday, Feb. 7. 

News by email

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Free weekly newsletter

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Most read stories this week