Mayor Landrieu, City Officials Celebrate Opening of 5 New NORDC Teen Centers
NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC), City officials and community partners and sponsors yesterday to celebrate the opening of five new Teen Centers at NORDC facilities across the city. The Teen Centers will complement NORDC’s robust teen programming, which provides kids ages 12-17 with a safe and structured social growth environment, City reps said.
“Since 2010, we have been laser focused on investing in the things that matter—our children,” said Mayor Landrieu. “Investing in activities for our youth is the absolute best way to change the culture of violence in our city. NORDC is committed to offering our youth diverse opportunities to promote growth in a positive learning environment. I encourage all New Orleans teens to visit one of our new Teen Centers and get involved in some of our enriching programs.”
The newly remodeled Teen Centers will feature computers, Wi-Fi, air hockey and ping pong tables, as well as televisions equipped with gaming consoles, plus a host of brand new programming options.
The new Teen Centers are located at:
• Cut-Off Rec Center, 6600 Belgrade St.
• Joe W. Brown Rec Center, 5601 Read Blvd.
• Lyons Rec Center, 624 Louisiana Ave.
• Sanchez Multi-Purpose Center, 1616 Caffin Ave.
• St. Bernard Center, 1500 Lafreniere St.
Additionally, a 6th Teen Center will open once construction of the Milne Gymnasium, 5420 Franklin Ave., is completed this fall.
NORDC Chief Executive Officer Vic Richard said, “Today, we’re proud to open NORDC’s brand new Teen Centers. We are making aggressive strides toward becoming a model recreation department for the country, and our progress means enhanced opportunities for our children, our families and future generations of New Orleans.”
NORD Commission Chairman Byron C. Williams said, “This is another great day for NORDC. The new Teen Centers will provide safe, structured and properly supervised activities for our city’s youth. The NORD Commission is committed to working with community leaders and our partners in government to provide diverse recreational opportunities for all residents.”
Funding for the Teen Centers was generously provided by a variety of community partners, City reps said. Chevron sponsored the Cut-Off and Sanchez Teen Centers; Capital One sponsored the St. Bernard Teen Center; and Jordan Brand, a Nike company, sponsored the Joe W. Brown Teen Center.
NORD Foundation Chairman Louis Lauricella said, “The NORD Foundation is proud to partner with the City of New Orleans and the NORD Commission to make another quality amenity available for the youth of New Orleans. We thank our Teen Center sponsors, Chevron, Capital One and Jordan Brand Nike, for their commitment to making sure that our teens have safe, enriching spaces to socialize and develop as future leaders of this community.”
District C Councilmember Nadine Ramsey said, “I’m happy to support the creation of teen centers throughout the City. It is so important that they have a safe place to gather and have fun while developing the skills they need to become successful adults. I believe the programming provided at these centers make it so much more than a place to hang out. The resources that are being made available will help them to grow and reach their full potential.”
To accompany the Teen Centers, NORDC provides a variety of quality, safe and engaging teen activities throughout the year. All Orleans Parish teens, ages 12-17, are invited to learn more about the following programs:
• Teen Council
The NORDC Teen Council is a year-long enrichment-based curriculum aimed at empowering teens through event planning, character development and monthly recreation opportunities. Additionally, youth can earn service hours through teen-oriented social action and community service projects. Meetings are held every second Saturday of the month from noon to 3:30 p.m. at Gernon Brown Rec Center.
• Chevron Future Leaders
The Chevron Future Leaders Program is an innovative leadership development program offered by NORDC and supported by Chevron. Designed to prepare future leaders for post-high school success in both college and the workplace, this program focuses on skills development and early career exploration for young adults from schools across the city. The ambitious curriculum exposes future leaders to qualities of successful business and community leaders and addresses topics such as public speaking, fine dining etiquette, entrepreneurship, environmental awareness and career pathways.
• Junior Achievement Company Program
This exciting program will provide a relevant and authentic learning experience for young people that continues the strong entrepreneurial workforce in our community. Teens are provided with professional entrepreneurial curriculum supplied by Junior Achievement and undergo the complete business process, from incorporation to liquidation, with the opportunity to earn real money.
• City Hall Council
The NORDC City Hall Council initiative is a 6-month program that offers young people hands-on experience to learn how public policy is shaped on a local level and how to actively engage in local government. In order to participate, teens who display strong leadership qualities within the community are nominated by peers, community leaders or NORDC staff, and will select a position within city government such as Mayor, City Councilmember, Chief of Police, Deputy Mayor, CEO of NORDC, Director of Sanitation and many more. Through the program, teens will have the opportunity to select an issue that is affecting teens or their communities, and develop a practical solution. Once elected, the teen city officials will participate in a job shadowing day in October, create a public service announcement regarding their selected issue and three awareness events.
• Intro to Golf Program
Hosted in conjunction with the Joe Bartholomew Golf Course and First Tee GNO, this ten-week program will introduce the sport and etiquette of golf. Sessions are course playing opportunities for teens that focus on promoting fundamental golf skills including full swing, putting and chipping. The program aims to promote life skills and leadership through the game of golf. No prior experience is required, and all equipment is provided. Sessions will take place on Saturdays from Sept. 10 through Nov. 19 from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the Joe Bartholomew Golf Course, 6514 Congress Dr.
• 1881 Vex Robotics
1881 Vex Robotics is the flagship apprenticeship program of the 1881 Research Institute, leading students to lucrative fields in engineering and science. Orientations will be held from Sept. 12 through Sept. 16 at various sites. The program is free and open to boys and girls, ages 12 to 17.
• Black Girls with Purpose
Black Girls with Purpose is a workshop series outlining ways teen girls ages 14 to 17 can pursue purposeful living through time management, goal setting, self-esteem and passion seeking.
• Glam U 101
Girls mentoring program focusing on confidence building. Programming includes runway classes, fashion shows, makeup lessons, photo shoots and more. This program is open to girls ages 13 to 18.
• Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES)
IWES is providing a teen pregnancy prevention program that addresses self-esteem issues, goal setting, stress, coping skills and empowers teens to make healthy and informed decisions. This program is open to boys and girls ages 14 to 17.
• Teen Council Special Events
Teen Council events are designed for teens and by teens. Events are free and open to New Orleans residents ages 12-17 unless otherwise noted. See NORDC’s calendar to keep up with upcoming events.