D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) - Teenagers in D’Iberville now have a place they can go to hang out after school thanks to a partnership between the Boys and Girls Club and Aaron’s Inc.
The new Teen Center was unveiled Wednesday, showing off the $20,000 makeover that Aaron’s made possible for the adolescents who go to the Boys and Girls Club.
Located inside the IP Center at the Boys and Girls Club’s North Bay unit, the new hangout spot features plenty of things for teens to do. From crafts to video games to music and more, the center is designed to give teenagers a safe place to spend time while exploring their interests in different areas.
D’Iberville High junior Jaliyah Snaer has been looking forward to this day since December and said she was in total shock when she saw how the space had been transformed.
“I didn’t know what they were going to do. It’s been blocked off all this week. So, it was really a surprise,” said Snaer. "It wasn’t like we’ve been peeking through. It was like Bam! This is what we have. This is what we’re doing. It’s amazing.”
Snaer helped design the new teen center and says it was her goal to have something for everyone.
“We have the game systems for all those people that like to play video games," she explained. "We have the Cricut maker for the people who might want to start a business by making their own shirts. We also have the recording studio with all the music and everything in case they want to start being a little DJ somewhere for the club. So, it’s really just accommodating to everybody.”
A special focus in the teen center is on computers and technology.
Aaron’s regional manager Jason Lykis believes these types of resources help teenagers get a jump start on their future.
“It’s outstanding to be a part of the community because, you know, we live here, too,” said Lykis. “So, to support the community that we live in as well and see them succeed, or give them the tools to succeed, it’s fantastic.”
The teen center is a part of Aaron’s three year, $5 million dollar nationwide partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, known as the Keystone Club. This is the first teen center makeover Aaron’s and the Boys and Girls Club have done in Mississippi as a part of the Keystone Club. The Keystone Club focuses on academic success and career preparation.