Are you a teen with something to say'  Teen town hall offers chance to sound off
Jessica Grant, 14 "The food at the teen center could be better, and I\'d like to see snacks for us and not just the middle school students. I try to come here every day to hang out, and we're hungry, too." Gabriel Jones, 14 "I'd like to see an internship program. I want to explore the criminal justice field." Jasmin Ramos, 15 "We used to have a pool close to the teen center, but now it's a skate park. It gets really hot during the summer walking all the way to the pool beside Little Caesars." Devonté McELroy, 15 "I'd like a teen club that's open until (midnight) every Saturday. Because it's a youth center with staff, parents shouldn't care." Pablo Palomar, 17 "I wouldn't mind them setting up a laser tag arena. I went on a few trips to one out of state, and it turned out to be great. That would catch the attention of a lot of teens."

Youths 13 to 18 from all areas of Fort Benning are being summoned to the first teen town hall.

The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Youth Services Center, Building 1056, on Baltzell Avenue.

Everyone is encouraged to come ready to express their complaints as well as compliments, said director of middle school and teen programs Quintella Thorn.
"We're empowering teens to have a voice," she said. "This is their program, and we feel if the information comes directly from them, we will know what they really want."

Thorn said Child, Youth and School Services is dedicated to accommodating all reasonable requests.

The meeting is open to everyone, including parents and teens who live off post. They will have the opportunity to speak to the panel that will include CYSS representatives Thorn, youth sports specialist Dorrie Wagner and school liaison officer Tawanna Brown.
Bernard Goss, the post's customer service manager, will also be on the panel.

Alvin Gelineau, director of Fort Benning Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Fort Benning Garrison Commander COL Thomas Macdonald will also attend.
Leisure and educational activities as well as internship programs are a few of the possible topics to be discussed, said Brown. The goal is to see more teens active in on-post programs.

"They need to know they are an important part of our community," Brown said. "This is the opportunity for them to let us know what they want and give us guidance."

Ultimately, Thorn said, program facilitators and teens should benefit from the event.

"We want teens to help us help them," she said. "In turn, we expect them to come and participate."

Call 706-545-3070 for more information.

Page last updated Thu February 4th, 2010 at 17:40