Columbia Association has announced a new partnership with Columbia Community Care to bring new programming to the Youth & Teen Center at The Barn in Oakland Mills.
Through a variety of programs, CA’s Youth & Teen Center has seen more than 3,600 check-ins in 2022. The facility provides a daily drop-in program where teens and pre-teens have a safe place to go after school, in addition to hosting activities like cooking clubs, art classes and leadership development opportunities.
The Youth & Teen Center also partners with organizations like 4-H, the Howard County Public Library System, the Howard County Police Department and NAMI Howard County to bring science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics programming, chess tournaments and mental health discussions to the facility.
CCC was founded during the pandemic, primarily to address food insecurity and poverty issues. Since, it has grown from food pantries to provide a wide variety of resources, services and programs across the county. One of the group’s winter food distribution centers is located at The Barn, opening its doors every Saturday to serve those in need.
CA is already partnering with CCC to bring a volleyball clinic to Supreme Sports Club. In both locations, leaders hope to reach young people they haven’t been able to connect with.
“One of the biggest obstacles for organizations that are providing programs and direct services to the community is to make sure that we have the space to do so,” CCC Founder Erika Strauss Chavarria said. “We are super grateful for the partnership with Columbia Association and the opportunity to be here at the Youth & Teen Center, because we know having a space like this allows us greater access to the young people that our programs are meant for and their families.”
One of the programs CCC plans to bring to CA’s space is the Perseverance Until Success Happens (P.U.S.H.) program. A pilot violence prevention program that is currently run out of the Bain Center in the Village of Harpers Choice, P.U.S.H. is designed to follow the lead of the young people it serves by providing a space where young people can gather, access resources and find guidance to overall well-being.