Teen centre envy of Nova Scotia premiers, says MLA Scott
Everyone made a bee-line to join Ross Anderson Pharmasave Teen Centre co-coordinator Heather Laurie (left), Chyna Williams and Allison Forshner to cut the cake and mark the third-anniversary of the teen centres operations. Dignitaries from across Springhills political spectrum came out to the laud the centre, its staff and the communitys youth.
By Christopher Gooding
SPRINGHILL - It was three years ago when the Ross-Anderson Pharmasave Teen Centre first opened its doors and the impact has been profound. Speaking from a voice of experience, Cumberland South MLA Murray Scott, a former police officer, could not only identify the community benefits for having a teen centre but could herald how the teen centre is the envy of many communities in Nova Scotia.
"When young people don't have a place like the teen centre some of them do find themselves in trouble," Scott said. "We've had premiers here who have said they wish they had a place like this in their towns."
Originally coined by the citizens of Springhill during the public consultation stage of rebuilding the community's arena after the former infrastructure collapsed, the teen centre came online shortly after the opening of the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre. Employeeing two full-time staff, Mandy Harrison and Heather Laurie, attendance at the teen centre over just the last three-weeks has been 700 persons, Leisure Services Director Pam Adams reported, and credited its staff for keeping the centre operational and entertaining for the youth by organizing events in tandem with fundraisers to cover the cost of operations.
"The teen centre wouldn't be here it weren't for two people, Heather Laurie and Mandy Harrison," Adams said.
Speaking on behalf of the 50-plus youth in attendance at the anniversary celebrations, Coleman Chapman lauded both the community and the centre for providing the local youth with the opportunity.
"Thank you for giving us a place to go," Chapman said. "Otherwise we're be on the streets."
Being capable of seeing an opportunity and seizing it, Mayor Allen Dill says, is exactly one of the qualities Springhill wanted to foster with its teen centre and help change the perception of youth.
"Teenagers are not the problem, they are the solution if we're willing to listen," Dill said. "Thank you for supporting the teen centre and enjoy it."