- 326 Chandler St. Worcester, MA 01602
The Worcester Youth Center is an educational, recreational and social facility for youth between the ages of 14 and 24. Our mission is to provide a safe place where young people can build lasting, positive changes in their lives. We accomplish this mission by seeking resources, collaborations and opportunities that help young people to realize their full potential, sharpen skills and enable them to become vital, responsible and contributing members of society. The Center has been and continues to be a “safe haven” for young people in Worcester.
The Center opened its doors in 1994 after three years of planning by youth, city officials, youth organizations, and adult advocates. Together, they envisioned a drop-in center that would be open to all young adults and adolescents throughout Worcester. It would not charge fees for membership or programs. The Center has since grown in its ability to carry out the mission.
Over the past twenty years, the Center has increased capacity to serve more youth and offers a wider variety of programs and transitional support activities promoting positive youth development. Our program model recognizes the developmental needs of youth and encourages them during the various phases of their social, physical and intellectual maturation. Today, Worcester Youth Center is truly aspiring to exemplify the motto: “it’s not just a place to go, it is a place to go further.”
Who we serve
Some of the most at-risk youth in the City of Worcester are actively participating in Worcester Youth Center activities. Many of our members live in neighborhoods with high concentrations of poverty, physically deteriorating surroundings, a shortage of affordable housing and areas where crime, drugs, and gang activity abound.
The Center attracts a diverse clientele including Latino, African-American, White and Asian. Many of them face barriers to work and school including low academic success, foster care/juvenile justice involvement, homelessness, teen pregnancy, disability, substance use and dependency, and live in families that routinely experience economic hardship.
Established in 1994 we offer a variety of activities and services to youth ages 14—18 and young adults ages 19—24. These services are organized in four program areas: Academic Support, Health & Wellness, Leadership & Arts, and Work Readiness. Through individualized personal action plans, we assist members to achieve and put them in touch with a wide range of services at the Center and in the community. Members can also participate in variety of engaging group talks, fun activities, work experience, game room, recording and dance studios and field trips. Membership at the Center is free, however, in return we ask for your personal commitment, courtesy, respect for self, others and the community.