Joel's Place mission: To provide creative, adventurous and adrenaline-seeking youth with a good, positive outlet for their energy. In a community with high teen suicide rates, Joel's Place involves young people in relationships that foster emotional resilience, academic success and physical stamina. Joel's Place has indoor/ outdoor skate park, a cafe, concert venue, outdoor basketball and volleyball courts. This project will ensure we have adequate adult mentors to accomplish our mission.
Alaska has some of the highest rates of alcoholism, depression/suicide and domestic violence in the nation. Adverse childhood experiences are the highest indicator of suicide risk. Alaskans face some of the most inclement weather in the nation with temperatures dropping subzero most of the winter and indoor play spaces are minimal.
Joel's Place Skate Park and Youth Center and Raw Joy School Age Program offer a continuum of care with over 36 hours of mentoring, tutoring and play. Starting with 5-12 year olds we foster emotional resilience, academic success and physical stamina following youth throughout their high school years with opportunities to serve as well as build life long relationships. Our indoor play space is a welcome relief to children who are high energy after a long day at school and on weekends.
Over 500 youth pass through the doors of Joel's Place each year. When their energy is expended skateboarding or riding their bikes, building relationships with adults who care about them over the course of 12 years results in resilient members of our community, graduating from high school, avoiding teen pregnancy, addiction and suicide. We know that our youth are least likely to take their own lives, get in trouble with the law or drop out of school.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Youth Center Website
Executive Director's Blog