Providence Center Teen Loves ‘Feeling Like I Belong’

David Chiles – Executive Director, Providence Center

Before Sophia became a Teen Leader with Providence Center, she preferred to keep to herself at school and in her community. “Being a teenager in this urban setting…I just wanted to graduate and get out,” Sophia explains. Then, Providence Center made a presentation to Sophia’s school, and everything changed. “When Providence came,” she says, “they spoke on how they are here to change that cycle of poverty, drug addiction, and violence…That really stood out to me because rather than running away, I’m sticking myself right in the middle, and I’m helping.”

Working as a mentor for children at Providence Center has changed Sophia. “I started to see the bond that the kids had with me and the fact that I really did impact their lives…It taught me that I have a lot to give to the world.” At Providence Center, Sophia has also learned skills that will come in handy as she pursues her college education. Sophia explains, “I’ve learned to manage my life better. Those were skills that they don’t teach you in school. Now, I have a calendar at home, I have a whiteboard, I have a cork board…Providence Center really just taught me to organize my life better as a person.”

Sophia reflects on what Providence Center means to her. “You have to find the good people and connect with them, and that’s really why I joined. Providence Center has given me the opportunity to do that, with adults around me, teens around me, and children around me. I love it. I love feeling like I belong somewhere. I love this place. For real.”

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