Every day at 3:00 pm the action begins at the Teen Center. Young people from different schools come here for educational and recreational programs. Through the games, including pool and foosball, the youths find a safe place to have fun, learn and laugh with friends.
The Teen Center of the Latin America Youth Center works mainly with young Latinos, Africans and African Americans in photography, radio production programs, poetry, mentoring and jewelry that encourage the participants to learn new skills and knowledge.
During my mission as a professional volunteer of America Solidaria, I have had the opportunity to coordinate the tutoring program, which provides support and mentoring to young people in different subjects through tutors who are students at Georgetown University, working together with the young people to improve their performance in the classroom. This program is not only academic, it’s also fun! We have boxing classes, decorate cookies, and hold field trips and workshops to prepare young people for college, among many other things, that strengthen the relationship between tutors and the youths.
On the other hand, during these months as a volunteer I could put into practice skills that I never imagined I would ever teach in the United States. Some years ago I started working on jewelry and now I have a program where I teach young people different techniques to create their own accessories while they learn entrepreneurship and innovation, in order to strengthen their entrepreneurial spirit. Every Monday, in this space with bachata playing in the background, I meet with young people to learn, create and above all to have fun.
*Lina Bocanegra, profesional volunteer with America Solidaria. Washington – United States