Parrsboro youth centre looking to future

Andrew Wagstaff
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New name, new board, new direction

The new board of the Parrsboro Community Youth Development Centre is (from left) Tara Harrison, Amber Lee Brewer, Audriana Smith, Cristine Peers and Jacqueline Wilson. Missing from the photo is Terrilynn Brown.

PARRSBORO – It was one year ago that the Parrsboro Youth Centre opened its doors, but the president of its governing board is looking to the future, not the past.

Audriana Smith said the new Parrsboro Community Youth Development Centre will open in the future with a new focus, but not until the board feels it is ready to move forward with a solid foundation.

“We have a whole new board, a new name for the centre, and it’s completely revamped – nothing is the same as it was before,” she said. “Last night we had a really long meeting about starting a foundation and building up from there. We’re focusing on starting out first, instead of jumping the gun.”

The youth centre opened to great fanfare last summer, due to the efforts of a large group of volunteers. Audriana was one of several young board members in the beginning, but said she was only part of it for a little awhile, and then left. She said only that “complications” arose.

“There was a lot of madness,” she said.

There was also a problem with cold temperatures, as the heat pump for the building was not meeting the challenge of providing a warm environment. Kids were wearing their jackets inside, and could see their breath, according to Audriana.

The youth centre ended up closing its doors during the winter months and has yet to reopen. The property was turned back over to its owner, Amber Brewer.

“I think we just didn’t have a foundation set, and that really hurt us in the end,” said Audriana. “We were really excited about it, it was something new, and awesome, but I just think we jumped into it too quickly in the first place.”

A new board has now been formed with Audriana as president, and other members being Amber Brewer, Jacqueline Wilson, Cristine Peers, Tara Harrison and Terrilyn Brown.

The president said she is confident in the strength of the board, and is really excited about the future of the centre.

“We want to start programming, which would be great,” she said. “There will be something for everyone, instead of just video games and movies. There will be actual activities to get people involved in the community, and involved with their peers.”

One such activity they are considering is a junior achievement program, which would teach young people about entrepreneurship.

Although she understands some young people still want the “old youth centre” to return, she is confident they will get used to the new approach.

“They will see we’re new, we’re different, and there are a lot of new things going on, which is not necessarily bad,” said Audriana. “We’re going to have a lot of awesome programs.”

A reopening date has not yet been set, but she encouraged those interested to follow the centre’s Facebook page for further updates.

Twitter: @ADNandrew

Organizations: Parrsboro Community Youth Development Centre

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