By JOSEPH MARTIN
ONE FEATHER STAFF
It has been 20 years since the Cherokee Youth Center, a venture with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, opened its doors to youth in Cherokee. Friday, it celebrated its anniversary. Youth Center Manager Matt Hollifield announced that center will be getting a new building. “That is a long process and we got a lot of support from Tribal Council.” He thanked council and past councils as well as Principal Chief Richard Sneed, Vice Chief B. Ensley and past chiefs and vice chiefs.
The goal of the center is to provide a future to children in Cherokee, giving them activities to keep them out of trouble. On its home webpage, the youth center states, “Every day, the Cherokee Youth Center strives to improve each child’s life by implementing self-esteem, courage, and positive values through all of the educational programs. Our youths come to the Boys & Girls Clubs to receive tutoring, computer training, sports education, homework help, and mentoring. Our youth gain confidence by developing a sense of usefulness and belonging.”
Sneed expressed his appreciation for the program through video. “I would like to thank each of the staff members for their dedication to caring of our Cherokee youth, and I look forward to seeing the positive change current leaders over the program are able to affect.”
In addition to recreational activities, the center offers gang intervention, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, violence prevention, homework assistance, tutoring, film making, photography, radio and other activities.
In addition to a presentation of youth center children, hot dogs and hamburgers were served.