Cornerstone Youth Center, Let’s Give Allen County
Apr26

Cornerstone Youth Center, Let’s Give Allen County

Presenting a Q&A with Cornerstone Youth Center Executive Director, Kent Castleman. Cornerstone is one of the five nonprofits selected for the Let’s Give Allen County campaign on May 6th. Give us a brief history of your organization and its role in our community. Cornerstone was created in 2000 by a group of community-minded citizens, including current Executive Director Kent Castleman, for positive youth development. Cornerstone concentrates on students in grades 7-12 and provides opportunities for positive moral growth and sustainable life skills development. While our main center is located in Monroeville, IN, our reach for students extends to New Haven and Southeast Fort Wayne. We offer programming six days a week after school, in the evenings and on weekends until 11 pm as alternative to underage alcohol and drug use. Our education center works with students individually to help them pass their classes, and our other evening programming aims to inform students about how to make positive life choices. Castleman is a member of YLNI and the Get on Board Committee as well as various other boards and committees throughout Allen County. What are some ways that the public can get involved with your organization? Cornerstone actively seeks volunteers who want to impact teens’ lives by volunteering during our drop-in center hours, our programming in the evenings or our summer camps. Adults provide homework help/tutoring, help fix meals for programming or assist program coordinators in delivery of the programs and services. We also look to engage active citizens as board members and volunteers for fundraisers. Do you have any upcoming events? The next events are actually tied to our culinary and hospitality week summer camp. During our culinary and hospitality camp, we will serve two four-course meals prepared and served by the students at our Monroeville location. Each dinner is limited to 50 guests and combines all of the skills the students learn during the culinary and hospitality week. Chefs from area universities and restaurants share their experiences with the students throughout the week. Those events will be on July 15 and July 17. What are some of the biggest goals for your organization over the next couple of years? Cornerstone continues to find ways to identify gaps in skills for employers. We want to create more job skills programs that help meet the specific need of employers in the area and seek ways to foster tangible skills in our youth to help fill that void. We are also enhancing our recreational outreach with two new sports camps this summer and improving the outdoor recreation space for more physical fitness programming. Tell us a little more about the project...

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