New youth center opens in northwest Roanoke

Leaders attend ceremony Monday

ROANOKE, Va. – There was a celebration Monday for a new local youth center. Roanoke leaders took part in a ceremony marking the opening of YouthHQ.

The new facility is at the Goodwill location on Melrose Avenue in northwest Roanoke. Mayor Sherman Lea, other leaders and teens held up cords symbolizing diversity and unity.

"It's going to be able to do a lot of things in this neighborhood, for this community,” Lea said.

The center will host camps and other programs, including mentorship and work training programs.

"Not only are they safe, but they're learning skills. They're learning how to go to work. They're learning to be responsible, to have pride and dignity in what they're doing,” said Goodwill President Bruce Phipps.

At the ceremony, teens showed their appreciation for current Goodwill mentorship opportunities. Nari’k Page, who has sickle cell anemia, said the experience helped him go to college.

“(The program) just provided me with plenty of opportunities to make a difference and show me things in the community I didn't know was out there,” he said. "I know this facility will help kids just like me."

Lea said the center is a part of many improvements coming to the northwest Roanoke area.

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