Youth Advocating for Methuen Youth and Community Center

            State Senator Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) joined a group of Methuen high and middle school students at the Methuen School Committee meeting to advocate for a new Youth and Community Center in the city.

Members of the School Committee took into consideration, during the Tuesday, October 13, a proposal to utilize the former Pleasant Valley School building on Pleasant Valley Street as a location for a Methuen Youth and Community Center. Senator DiZoglio joined students from the Youth Advisory Council “MY (Methuen Youth) Voice”, “Inspirational Ones,” the 501(C)3 non-profit responsible for overseeing the project in collaboration with Methuen Public Schools and the City of Methuen, and other local residents who support the initiative.

In recent years, DiZoglio has worked toward the establishment of such a center in the City of Methuen, pointing to the fact that Methuen is among the few communities in the Merrimack Valley that does not have a formal youth center like many surrounding cities and towns.

“Now more than ever during this COVID-19 emergency, our local youth who are stuck at home, isolated from their peers, are in need of vital guidance, support and services to keep them connected,” said DiZoglio. “The goal of this project is to provide them with that connectivity, as well as the mentorship opportunities and social and emotional learning to inspire them to pursue their unique talents and reach their goals. They need a safe and supportive place to belong that can help them reach their fullest potential. We as community leaders need to step up and support our future generation of leaders’ call to action, not only for the youth who are currently advocating, but for their children and their children’s children. The actions we take now could positively impact countless young people for generations to come.”

“It is truly a blessing to be a part of this project,” said Lukas Karagiorgos, a Methuen High junior. “The Methuen Youth [Center] Project is not only a great way for students and kids from our community to hang out and connect, but also an opportunity to give them the tools and resources they need to succeed in the future. One of our main goals as a student-led board is to give all students a voice and allow them to have representation in their education and community issues.”

Senator DiZoglio is thrilled to have the support of Mayor Neil Perry in exploring the use of Pleasant Valley School to support Methuen students and the community at large.  “Methuen is lucky to have the YMCA and many student athletic organizations, but we can do more. When the Senator approached me requesting support for a youth facility to focus on supporting Methuen students not currently served by other programs, I immediately agreed. We identified the Pleasant Valley School as a site where we hope to serve Methuen youth, but also potentially provide programs and services for our entire community. I applaud Diana for expanding her vision to allow for this important partnership for our community.”

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