Carbondale Youth Center Program Focuses on Future Leaders | New

A new youth center in Carbondale is seeing success with a program to help young students develop leadership skills so they can succeed in college and beyond.

Located at the Fallbrook Community Center, 185 Fallbrook St., Carbondale, the Leaders In Training program meets the needs of each student, helping them prepare to lead, said Kelly Langan, director of children and teen programs for United Neighborhood Centers.

“For one it may mean focusing on social skills and confidence, for another it may mean a targeted approach to improving their grades so they can get into the college of their choice,” said Langan said. “All of our students have different skills and different goals for the future. It is our job to make sure they are able to succeed in their chosen path.

A big reason for the program’s success is its flexibility, Langan said. Each session lasted approximately three months, beginning with the first in January. The total number of students is almost 50 per year. Each of the classes served between six and 10 students, allowing for individualized attention.

“For students who learn best in a classroom with instruction, we have this. For students who learn best with hands-on experience, we have that. For students who learn best in one-on-one sessions, we have that,” Langan said. “Our Leaders in Training program has been developed to support all types of learners.”

Leaders in Training coordinator Nathan Masco said the life lessons and skills participants learn can prepare them to face the world.

“I believe this generation can have a positive impact on the world,” Masco said. “And if they take one thing away from being in the LIT program, it would be that no matter the situation, believe in yourself and know that (you) can do it.”

The organization tries to keep in touch with its students to find out more about their success after the program, Masco added. He said some even return after college to work with the organization, as some did while he was working on similar programs in Scranton.

“For example, one staff member, Nadia, started at LIT. Then, at the age of 16, (she) started working at our summer camp as a string entertainer and then, while in college, started working part-time for our department,” Masco said. “Now she is full time with the agency.”

During the 2021-2022 school year, the program was able to purchase video game streaming equipment to bring fun to the classroom and help build essential life skills.

“It’s been a very popular addition to the program for obvious reasons, but it also teaches young people life lessons like teamwork and communication skills,” Masco said.

UNC youth program manager Kylee Colvin said she and others in the organization saw the need for a place for Carbondale youth to hang out outside of the classroom. traditional class. The building that hosts youth programs also houses a senior center with a variety of programs for older Upvalley residents, also coordinated by UNC.

“After the success of our Active Older Adult program, we started talking with members of the school district to see if there was a need for such a location in Carbondale,” Colvin said. “We had an excellent response from the young people who come regularly and we were warmly welcomed.

With the focus on the adult population of the town of Carbondale, Colvin said it was time to shift the focus to young people across the region.

“So many exciting businesses are coming to the area and we wanted the young people of Carbondale to be part of the city’s transformation,” she said.

Colvin said the program also aims to encourage children to help the community in which they reside.

“Young people are currently working on a community garden in Fallbrook that will be available to residents and young people, which has had a great response,” she said.

The center’s current schedule is focused on offering visual arts programs for ages 10-18 and leadership programs for youth in grades 8-12. Young people aged 10 to 18 can also join the Carbondale Photography Club, which meets every two weeks from August at the Carbondale Public Library.

The center operates on a free drop-in-only system that operates Monday through Friday from 4-6 p.m. The organization hopes to provide transportation for the programs that will be launched from August. All supplies used during the sessions are provided free of charge.

The program’s goals for the future are to increase the number of young people participating in programming and to increase the presence of the UNC youth program in the community.

For a list of upcoming events and programs for children, see For more information about the UNC Carbondale Youth Center, contact Kylee Colvin at 570-961-1592 x 105 or [email protected]

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