Skills Center builds new youth center in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla – The Tampa Pioneers celebrated a great victory in youth development on Tuesday and did so with the blessing of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.

What would you like to know

  • The Skills Center is developing a $ 13 million youth center at 5107 N 22sd Tampa Street.
  • A number of groups donated to the project, including the Toronto Raptors basketball team.
  • The new facility will allow them to serve at least 3,500 children per year.

The Skills Center is moving forward with a state-of-the-art $ 13 million youth center in Hillsborough County.

Several local organizations put money into the pot to make this happen. Skills center vice-president and former professional athlete Chris Ward showed me a check for $ 350,000 from the Toronto Raptors basketball team.

“Right now, we are at the launch of the Skills Center. This will be the new facility, ”Ward said. “We have been helping these children through school programs for over 20 years. “

The Skills Center offers dozens of programs for young people that target reading, writing, technology and sports. The new facility will allow them to serve at least 3,500 children per year.

City leaders like Mayor Jane Castor and several other supporters attended the event to congratulate Ward and his team for their work.

“We even have the kids from the youth program that we started in 2000 here, which is amazing,” Ward said. They are almost 40 years old now, but for us their still children we made an impact on their lives and now we are impacting their children which is a blessing.

Several people took the microphone to share their appreciation of the program or to provide insight into what it took to make all of this happen.

Program chair Celeste Roberts said the overall goal of the Skills Center is to close the gap between success and failure for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Thank you all for being here,” said Roberts. “My heart is overflowing, I am so grateful; it is my passion and my goal. I believe that’s why God put me on earth.

Roberts and his team have rented buildings and rooms to implement their program, but now, years later, they have their own building.

“We’ve never been the type to receive, we’re givers,” Ward said. “Just seeing a child or an adult come out and have opportunities and be impacted by something that we have helped them with is motivation.”

The new Competence Center is located at 5107 N 22sd Tampa Street. The doors will open to the community in the fall of 2022.

Click here to learn more about the program and how you can help.

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