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Barack And Michelle Obama Center Breaks Ground In Rochester, NY



The 19th ward in Rochester, New York, has welcomed a new teen center. The Center for Teen Empowerment (TE), designed to employ, train, and empower youth, held a groundbreaking ceremony to start the construction of the Barack and Michelle Obama Youth Center on Genesee Street, an event seven years in the making.

“The resources, the expanded space, and being able to add additional programming and we are adding space that the community can access to for meetings and other things,” said Doug Ackley, executive director for Teen Empowerment Rochester.

“We’re really trying to open this up to the whole community. This has been a community project, and we want to keep it open to the community as we move along.”

Thanks to $1 million in funding, the Obama Youth Center will offer a large community room, study areas, and a multi-media recording studio.

According to the center’s website, these positive opportunities intend to empower young people to find their voices and talents to involve large numbers of their peers and adults in building peace, tolerance, and community. The Center for Teen Empowerment currently has chapters in Boston and Somerville, MA, and Rochester.

Since 2003, Teen Empowerment Rochester has provided opportunities to hundreds of kids ages 14-19 in the central New York City. The goal was to help to lower the violence that crippled urban neighborhoods.

After three teens were shot and wounded, Rochester’s Mayor Malik Evans announced last June that he had to shut down entire streets and businesses that had been “overrun by violent crime as part of the city’s gun violence state of emergency.” Police say that these crimes are often committed by youth.

“While youth are often seen as part of the problems facing urban communities, they are rarely engaged as part of the solution,” according to the Youth Center.

RELATED CONTENT: BARACK OBAMA TALKS GETTING BACK IN MICHELLE’S GOOD GRACES AFTER MARITAL WOES, ‘IT HELPS TO BE OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE’




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