Many of these teens have been coming to the Launch Pad for years-a testament to the supportive and collaborative environment the Center has become. “Prescott is filled with creative, diverse, and incredibly capable teens,” says Anna Nugent, Program Coordinator at the Center, “This is an avenue for them to get a chance to lead, and support each other. The Launch Pad is here as that accessible avenue to pursue their interests, build community, or simply hang out, play video games, or make art.”
The teens are a major part of the process that helps build the avenue it is for them: the teens elect among themselves who will sit on the teen board in partnership with the agency’s board, collaborating to create and run the programs at the center. “The programs are created based on needs voiced specifically by teens”, Nugent explains, “For instance, The Q collective was created in response to teens of the LGBTQ community reporting feelings of isolation and experiences of hostility in the Try-City area. It’s a network of these teens and their advocates working together to build a supportive community and inclusive spaces for all teens, regardless of their identities.”
One major program opportunity also worth mentioning is the Launch Pad’s internship program. When teens pursue this program, they are placed in various agencies in the community, and sometimes even the Launch Pad itself, helping them discover what career paths they’d like to explore while building leadership skills and self-confidence.
“We have one teen whose passion is music,” Nugent says, “As part of his internship here at TLP, he has taken on the role of Music Curator; he oversees our monthly music shows by creating flyers, booking bands, and doing a whole lot of outreach. And because of all his hard work these shows have been incredibly successful!”