KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new metro teen center is looking to make a difference.
The J&D Wagner Unit Teen Center is a project for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City. The new 5,000-square-foot facility, located on 2405 Elmwood Avenue, will have the capacity to serve 75 inner-city teens.
“The clubs have always been at the forefront of new development, community togetherness, youth empowerment, so the need is always there. It’s certainly been underlined in the past couple months,” Vice President and Resource Developer Jason Roth said. “We are stability. We are that safe place, but much beyond that, pathway to their next step.”
It will be a new place for teens to explore their untapped abilities, in one of Kansas City’s deadliest areas: East Kansas City, home to 70 of the city’s homicides in 2020.
“I think this gives me a place to go to get away from violence, drugs and stuff like that. I think it’s a good opportunity to get away and figure out what we want to do,” Boys and Girls Club member Arionna Weston said.
Weston said she’s most excited for the recording studio in the new expanded space.
But that’s just one unique room of interest. The site will also introduce programs focusing on education, healthy lifestyles, technology and leadership.
“Most kids don’t get this kind of opportunity to go to the studio for free to record. You’d have to pay for it. I think it will really help. At this age, you’re figuring out what you want to do in life. You have the opportunity to explore with music,” Weston said.