After a successful first year of the new Teen TITAN program, the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club has decided to continue the program that is aimed at children between the ages of 13 and 19. Dubbed Teen TITAN (Taking Initiative, Teens Acting Now), the program offers local teens a safe atmosphere to interact with other teens on Friday nights from 7 pm to 12am. While at The Club off Airport Rd in Milford, DE, teenagers can take full advantage of what the Boys & Girls facility has to offer including the Olympic-size swimming pool, basketball courts, fitness center, arts and crafts center, gaming room and open gym.
The Teen TITAN program began as a way for the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club to return to their national mission of helping teens become productive citizens. The Milford Club had recently focused on child care programs before and after school, but knew that they could make a greater impact by adding programs for local teenagers. The Teen TITAN Program was made possible through a $20,000 grant from the Delaware Criminal Justice Council and began on February 14, 2014. According to Teen TITAN program coordinator Marla Smith, 65 to 70 teens showed up the first night and the program has continued to grow to include over 100 teenagers.
“It has been phenomenal and it has surpassed everyone’s expectations,” commented Smith. “It has had a great impact on the lives of many of our local teens.”
In addition to engaging the teens in several activities at The Club, the program has also welcomed guest speakers including Tetra Shockley,Deputy Attorney General at Delaware Department of Justice. Shockley shared stories from her childhood and challenged the teens to be successful and active in their communities.
“We want to expose teens to other opportunities that their home environments may not present,” commented Smith. “We what them to think about confidence and finding their own identity and that nothing can stop them from making it.”
As the program continues this month, coordinators at the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club will be introducing teens to career development and entrepreneurship opportunities through three programs called Positive Outcomes, Keystone Club and Torch Club. Positive Outcomes will discuss emotional challenges for teens such as self- esteem, problem solving and identifying with positive influences. The Keystone and Torch Clubs, both aimed at community service, will help younger and older teens learn about leadership, responsibility and how they can make a difference in their own community. Teen TITAN members will be encouraged to take these lessons and set positive examples for other local teens in the community.
“The teens in this program have learned that there are people that really care for them,” stated Smith. “We encounter teens that believe that no one will pay attention to them and we let them know that we care about them and what they want to do with their future.”
The Teen TITAN program is currently held at the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club, located at 101Delaware Veterans Blvd off Airport Road in Milford, every Friday evening between 7pm and 12am from now until June 30, 2015. For more information on the program and how to get involved, individuals are encouraged to call the Club at 302-422-4453.