DEL NORTE— Teenagers at the High Valley Community Center (HVCC) have been spending the past several months working in an employment program with several businesses in the Del Norte area. Through the combined efforts of the center and local business owners, the group has learned entry level trade skills that will help them in the future. Now the center is pleased to announce that the Southern Colorado Community Foundation (SCCF) has generously donated $2,500 to help pay the students for their efforts.
Throughout the summer, students in the HVCC teen program have interned in businesses throughout Del Norte and have now switched gears for the winter season by offering their services to the center itself. Students answer phones, help with the younger students, work in the kitchen and at the front desk while earning a small amount of income. The donation from SCCF will help significantly with the costs associated with the program, making sure that it can continue in the future.
HVCC Director Adrienne Atencio was happy to explain the program stating that the $2,500 will help pay stipends for students participating in the program. “The teens have done such a wonderful job with this program. Throughout the summer they worked with community businesses and other organizations, and now they will help around here for the winter, just because of time restraints and school,” said Atencio.
In addition to the teen employment program, the center is preparing for the coming holiday season. The coming month is full of fun activities for the students including making wreaths that will be distributed to the Homelake Veteran’s Center and the River Valley Inn Nursing Home. Owner of The Columbine in Del Norte Marsha Ensz will come to the center at the end of the month to show the students how to make wreaths.
Students will also participate in the annual giving tree at the center. A tree is placed on the wall at the center and students place leaves along the branches explaining things that they are grateful for. At the end of the month for family night, students will take the leaves down and share their thoughts with family and friends. According to event coordinator Kathryn Trujillo, family night at the center has been quite successful. “We want everyone to know that students can bring anyone they want to the family fun nights. It can be aunts, uncles, friends or other family members that are special in their lives,” said Trujillo.
During the family fun nights, which take place once a month, students and staff prepare a homemade meal to share with their guests, plan a fun activity like the giving tree and even have door prizes for everyone to enjoy. Last month, more than 20 families showed up for the event and staff hope for double that amount this month. This month’s family night is scheduled for Nov. 16, so be sure to come out and enjoy the fun.