Sixth Teen Center opens at Woods Cross HighFeb 09, 2023 01:54PM ● By Becky Ginos
Woods Cross SBO President Liam Henriksen cuts the ribbon on the new Teen Resource Center. The center provides much needed services to at-risk students.
WOODS CROSS—Some of the most vulnerable and at-risk students now have a safe place they can go to receive the services they need to be successful. The Davis Education Foundation opened a new Teen Resource Center at Woods Cross High School on Tuesday. The center is the sixth in the Davis School District with three more in the works.
The district has seen a growing number of homeless and food-insecure students in the district and Teen Centers provide them with access to showers, laundry facilities, a food pantry and a quiet place to study.
“I don’t know what it is like to be homeless,” said Troy Wood, CEO of Lakeview Hospital. The hospital gave a large donation to the center. “This will give students the resources they need.”
Wood said back in the 80s he was a student at Viewmont High. “Woods Cross didn’t have a letter on the hill like Viewmont so they decided to create one by turning the V into a W. The hazing went back and forth and we heard they were planning on stealing the Viking statue in the school. With a friend of mine we slept in our car guarding the school. We had snacks and went home to get a shower then came back and sat in the car.”
There are students who are genuinely doing that today, he said. “When I heard about the number of homeless teens who were couch surfing I knew we needed to raise some money. At first we set a goal for $75,000 but we came up with about half a million. If they don’t have their basic needs met, they can’t aspire to be what they can. These are students who come out of the ashes to be special people in our community.”
“I graduated from Woods Cross 29 years ago,” said Project Chairman, Tom Freeman. “I look here today and think what a privilege it is to work with this community in fundraising. Community is defined not just geographically but in purpose. It took a community to do this. This is something we can all be proud of.”
The teen center is so awesome, said Woods Cross SBO President Liam Henriksen. “It has done so much for our school. Our theme is ‘Everybody is somebody’ we’re sharing the same message that everyone should be treated as somebody. This has been the biggest deal ever.”
Last year Wish Week’s service was dedicated to raising money for the teen center, he said. “We did all kinds of things like penny wars and also reached out to the community. We raised $150,000 and we continue to receive donations. Our community is insane. It really brought our school together and together we can make a difference.”
“As a district we work to make dreams come true and do everything we can to get there,” said Superintendent Dr. Dan Linford. “We also rely on the community to make dreams come true. This center provides dignity where a student can have a clean, comfortable place with loving adult supervision. We need champions to make this happen.”
“We all need help in different ways,” said Davis County Chamber CEO/President Angie Osguthorpe. “This is awesome to help the most vulnerable. It’s awesome to see young people helping young people.”
“Student homelessness is a quiet, but pervasive issue in Davis County,” said Davis Education Foundation Executive Director Jodi Lunt. “These children lack access to the very basic essentials that we all take for granted. Teen centers help to provide students in need with those essentials, while maintaining their safety and dignity. More than anything though, they facilitate hope and connect these kids to a caring adult who can help navigate their challenges.”