Second Teen Center opens at Northridge HighSep 01, 2022 02:37PM ● By Becky Ginos
LAYTON—Northridge High students, teachers, board members and others in the community cheered as a temporary teen center sign was taken down to reveal the official one at a ribbon cutting to open the center last week just in time for the start of school. The Northridge Teen Resource Center is the second facility of its kind in the Davis School District with four others under construction.
The teen center gives at-risk students in need, including those experiencing homelessness, a safe place to shower, launder clothing, study, eat and access to other basic essentials and an opportunity to work one on one with counselors. It also has a full community pantry for students and families to access food, according to the Davis Education Foundation (DEF).
“We have 1,300 students who are classified as homeless in Davis School District,” said Foundation Executive Director Jodi Lunt. “The completion of this center is a huge step to better serving those students and many others who need assistance. These children deserve to succeed, but it’s hard to do that if your very basic needs aren’t being met.”
“I’ve never been a part of anything like this,” said Northridge Principal Jason Smith at the opening. “It blows me away how this came together. It’s easy to get behind this because it offers hope. It lets some students feel less different.”
Smith said he’s never seen a community come together like this. “When they heard about the project the money just came pouring in. The project has wanted for nothing. That’s the Northridge community.”
“This is a great day,” said Davis School Board member Gordon Eckersley. “This shows how much the Davis School District cares about students and learning. You hear about students and the challenges they have. ‘See a need, meet a need.’ Let’s say OK, let's take care of it.”
“It’s because of Jodi, it’s been her dream to get this done,” said Brian Slagle, DEF Board President.
The students also contributed to making the teen center happen. “They set a record of fundraising of over $20,000,” said Smith. “It was through the work of the student body to raise money to help their own.”
This is such an amazing cause for Northridge High, said SBO Vice President Chloe Williams. “This will help students feel safe, comfortable and successful. A place where they belong and feel proud and happy they’re a knight.”
“We know how stressful and difficult high school is,” said SBO President Darryl Namazi. “With homework, friends, even finding a date to homecoming. This center will give them a place to study and shower.”
“We know as teachers that students learn best if they’ve eaten breakfast and know where their dinner is coming from,” said Superintendent Dan Linford. “This space fills an incredible need to help us help our most vulnerable students. It’s been a great pleasure to watch this. I hope students will use this to find their vision and to do good somewhere else.”
This represents students helping students, said Davis Chamber President and CEO Angie Osguthorpe. “Anyone who has had a hand up is in turn reaching out to others to help them. These are dark times happening in the world. Students and the community have a chance to help people with this.”
“You don’t realize there are so many students in need,” said Layton Mayor Joy Petro. “This hits home in a private way. There are kids who absolutely need it so they can focus on school work. I love it. It’s right here. There’s no shame you can tell by the student support.”
The city encourages neighbors to help neighbors, Petro said. “These are students helping. That’s the community we live in. I’m proud to be a part of it.”
There are people in this room who grew up in these circumstances, she said. “Look now at what they’ve accomplished.” λ