The Bangor Region YMCA’s Teen Center was conceptualized and created to address critical, unmet needs for area teens in the area of substance use prevention, mental and emotional wellbeing, community, and youth development. In 2018 the Bangor Region YMCA conducted a community needs survey spanning six communities in our service area. The survey included a questionnaire, focus groups, and meetings with community stakeholders. Our study highlighted the areas of prevention and early intervention for teens, the need for safe spaces, non-athletic afterschool programming, postsecondary and career readiness, building a sense of community and relationships, and improving psychosocial wellbeing.
The Bangor Region YMCA is a community organization with a mission of supporting the physical, emotional and social wellbeing of our members and their community. We are committed to building strong and healthy-minded children, individuals, families, adults and communities through our programs. The Y’s mission steers the work we do and positions the center to have an important impact on youth development in the greater Bangor area by providing critical and early intervention to hundreds of youth each year. This impact is magnified by the YMCA’s central location, low barriers to entry, access to youth and families through a variety of programs and mediums, and community partnerships. All these factors allow us to maximize our impact by removing fees and lowering barriers like transportation and burdensome registration, increase resilience by growing a sense of community and opportunity, and reducing stigma by providing a safe space and clinician or peer led support groups.