New community center planned for Murray/Millcreek borderNov 23, 2020 11:44AM ● By Shaun Delliskave
Youthlinc’s new community center will include 3,200 square feet of programming space. (Photo courtesy of Youthlinc)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
A center for after-school and adult programming will soon sprout on 4500 South, which will provide opportunities for learning and offering service to local communities and globally. Youthlinc, a nonprofit organization, plans to open a 3,200-square-foot community center on an acre of ground near 346 East in Murray.
Youthlinc, according to their mission statement, creates “lifetime humanitarians through local and international service.” Their programming includes student leadership, sustained hands-on service, effective mentoring, cooperative, and project-based learning.
A groundbreaking occurred Oct. 24, with the grand opening of the building expected in early 2022. The building will include activity rooms, outdoor recreation space, Youthlinc offices, event and board room space for low or no rent to local nonprofits. A community garden is also planned.
The nonprofit already partners with Millcreek Promise for its after-school programming and has partnered with South Salt Lake Promise for 10 years. Youthlinc plans with this new building to serve James E. Moss Elementary, Parkside Elementary, Hillcrest Junior High, and Murray High School with after-school programming, and provide much needed green space and a community center for residents of all ages in need of life skill-enhancing curriculum, a computer lab, and a place to gather together.
“Youthlinc offers programming important to Murray City School District and will greatly benefit the youth served in this area and the greater community,” Murray Schools Superintendent Jennifer Covington said. “Youthlinc’s after-school program, Real Life, targets demographics of youth within Murray City School District boundaries that need additional and ongoing support so that they can perform at a higher level in school, be more prepared for life after high school through job skills and college readiness, and have a safe and constructive place to be after school hours.”
Each year, over 180 Utah students participate in Youthlinc’s “Service Year,” with 50-60 adult professionals serving as mentors; students provide 15,000 local service hours. A Service Year provides a structured school year-long curriculum, including up to 80 hours of local service and monthly meetings where young people are mentored to take leadership roles in service activities at their international sites.
“During these challenging times, we really need something positive to cling to, something that builds our souls and provides hope. Our youth have been especially hard hit by the lockdown orders and social distancing rules,” says Youthlinc Board Treasurer Von Wallace. “Someday, hopefully soon, this pandemic will end. When it does, our young people will need Youthlinc more than ever. The special-purpose building Youthlinc is pursuing is a perfect community gathering place to provide essential services and education, to serve and give back to the community.”
Teen refugees in South Salt Lake are mentored by Youthlinc Service Year students through Real Life Salt Lake City. Under the guidance of a local service director and program interns, Youthlinc students plan and implement an after-school curriculum of financial literacy, health and hygiene, job and college preparation, and cultural exchange. This teen-to-teen mentoring program provides additional leadership and service opportunities to students as well as learning and acculturation, and mentoring experiences for the refugee teens who participate.
“Although the proposed building is not within Millcreek’s boundaries,” Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini said, “it is directly across the street from us and will be inclusive of our population of refugee and immigrant families. We value the work that Youthlinc does already in other parts of Millcreek and look forward to working together to support this vulnerable and valuable demographic.”
The budget for the building is $2.7 million. Over $700,000 has been raised, and the organization is actively seeking donations. More information can be found online at Youthlinc.org/capital-campaign.