Portage Community Center’s Youth Program’s mission is to strengthen the community by developing life skills through social-emotional learning to build a society where all youth thrive. Our programs target underserved youth who have limited access or no access to quality out-of-school time programming.
At PCC our youth programs have always approached our work through lenses of youth voice, social justice, and equity by:
- Meeting the youth where they are.
- Embracing and celebrating diversity.
- Providing strengths-based social-emotional learning to engage youth in the practice of knowing their own emotional lives and building empathy for others.
- Offering youth-voice opportunities to counter ageism and adultism.
We are active members of the Kalamazoo Youth Development Network and are committed to providing the highest level of youth program quality through evaluation, planning, and the continual professional development of our staff. We utilize evidence-based methods from leading youth development partners, including the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, Devereux Center for Resilient Children, and the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children. Our staff are known statewide and nationally as leaders in youth development, social-emotional learning, and trauma-informed practices — all built on a foundation of collaboration and a deep respect for the youth and families we serve. We believe that all youth need safe and supportive environments where they can learn and have fun while developing skills to make life better for themselves and their community.
We are proud of our youth and of the fact that, when asked about our youth programs, they told us that “Portage Community Center feels like home.”
For more information, visit www.portagecommunitycenter.org.