NEO Youth Center celebrates 2 years | TheUnion.com

NEO Youth Center celebrates 2 years

Submitted to The Union

Jeremy Phillipson has spent time playing guitar at the New Events & Opportunities Youth Center, which is celebrating its two-year anniversary.

The New Events & Opportunities Youth Center is celebrating its two-year anniversary this month.

NEO has become a popular spot for young people, with nearly 30 youth visiting on average each day, as many as 45 on some days.

In just two years' time the center has come to boast over 430 active members. The youth attending the center represent nearly every school in western Nevada County, forming a diverse group of young people.

NEO strives to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices. The center offers free after school drop-in hours for youth and young adults between the ages of 11-25. During the drop-in hours young people are engaged in various activities including homework help, ping-pong, foosball, crafts, video games, board games, sports, and more all in a safe and supervised environment. In addition, the center hosts workshops including yoga, dance and video game design as well as weekend events such as concerts, dances, open mic nights and movie nights.

"Our second anniversary is a major milestone for us," said NEO Co-Founder and Director of Operations Lynn Skrukrud, "Over the decades there have been numerous attempts to create youth centers in our area, but all of them failed within the first year. When we set out to create our youth center we knew that we needed to do things differently in order to succeed.

"We wouldn't have made it to where we are today without the support of the youth we serve and the support of the entire community."

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NEO strives to do things differently. Everything they do is youth-led. Not only do the young people serve as mentors, but they help choose and lead the activities that NEO offers. Their model is working. The number of youth attending the center has been growing exponentially with a 250 percent increase in membership since January 2016.

NEO is a nonprofit founded in 2008. The NEO Youth Center opened in March of 2015.

To learn more or find out how you can support NEO visit http://www.ncneo.org or call 530-470-3869. The NEO Youth Center is located at 139 Joerschke Drive in Grass Valley, next to Bitney College Prep High School and Smiley Guys Smokehouse.

Source: NEO Youth Center

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