My Place Teen Center (MPTC) is a 501(c)3, not for profit, year round, free, out-of-school time program (five hours/day) for youth, from any locale, ages 10-18. Specializing in instilling grit, and alleviating hunger and trauma, MPTC offers a multi-purpose, academically enriching, life-skills enhancing, hunger relieving, positive youth development program that has been the focal point of greater Portland’s teen activities since its inception in 1998. The two most important services we provide:
(1) Afterschool programming – five hours/day, Monday through Friday; year round
(2) Nutritious meals
Services received: We provide a structured, supervised curriculum focusing on 21st century skill building and positive youth development including daily homework assistance, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming, service learning, financial literacy, mentoring, physical fitness, the arts, cooking and nutrition, social and life skills training, leadership skills, higher education/job acquisition support, and mental health first aid.
Kids Served: 500 different youth; 40-70 kids/day; year-round; 9,100 meals.
It is important to note that the national average cost of a quality after-school program is between $1,500 and $2,500 per child annually (Source: http://www.everychildmatters.org/about/issues/after-school-programs).
However, at MPTC, due to our business efficiencies, use of volunteers and leveraging strategic partnerships we are able to provide each child access to 1,300 hours of year-round, specialized programming and 260 hot, healthy meals at a sponsorship cost of just $960, or $80/month.
In 1996, Westbrook community leaders were shocked by a local teen’s suicide, and were further alarmed by the results of a local drug and alcohol survey given to area youth. These leaders started a community dialogue on how best to keep the city’s 1,700 teens safe and decided to create an after school, teen drop-in center.
Local businesses, individuals, grants and corporate sponsors donated 90% of the materials used to create Mission Possible Teen Center (MPTC).
The center opened its doors May 16, 1998 in front of a 400-member audience and soon became a vital part of the community. Designed by a 21-member Teen Advisory Board and renovated at a cost of $116,000, it was located at the Dana Warp Mill. It was the city’s first no-barrier program for all kids, regardless of socio-economic status or background.
Since then, the teen center has operated continuously to provide youth with a much needed fun and safe space to hang out. Due to a significant increase in attendance numbers, the center moved to a new location at 755 Main Street – the former United Methodist Church.
It is centrally located, and in walking distance to the neighborhoods that it serves. Housed in a 10,000 square foot, 150-year-old building, approximately 500 teens a year enjoy the center’s robust menu of programs, meals and services.
To celebrate its 15th year of serving the youth of Cumberland County (and beyond), the center was re-branded as “My Place Teen Center.” This new name embodied the spirit of the center itself. It empowers the kids… for it truly is their place…
- Youth will be safe, feel loved, and get fed.
- Youth will develop appropriate interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, reduce problem behaviors, and gain self-esteem.
- Youth will increase their social and emotional development by increasing their engagement and sense of belonging, by providing opportunities for their voice and leadership, and by building stronger connections with their families, schools, and communities.
- Youth will improve school attendance and behavior, foster better study habits, and increase student achievement and graduation rates.
In 2014, MPTC was recognized by WCSH-TV as part of their 6 Who Care awards as their Agency of Distinction.
MPTC was chosen as the Maine recipient of the Tom’s of Maine 50 States for Good program in 2014.
MPTC’s president & CEO, Donna Dwyer, was recognized as Mainebiz’s Nonprofit Business Leader of the Year in March of 2015.
MPTC was awarded the 2015 Maine Children’s Alliance Giraffe award in August.
MPTC was selected as the 2016 TD B2B charitable recipient.
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