As of the start of 2011, the Brookline community still does not have a safe and engaging place for teens to spend their out of school time. Instead, Brookline teenagers have the option of splurging money on food and movies or staying at home. Without anything engaging to do a large number of teens use drugs and alcohol. In a recent study, over 40% of Brookline High School students admitted to drinking. In addition, the majority of Brookline teenagers said they usually “hang out with friends” after school.
Recognizing the urgent need for a place where teens could learn, connect, grow and have fun, Paul and Saskia Epstein began to explore the possibility of creating a teen center in Brookline in 2005. Once they gained the momentum to begin the project, a major anonymous donation of $32,000 was made to The Brookline Teen Center in the spring of 2006. Paul and Saskia were then able to hire staff and teenage interns to begin making their idea into a reality. For four summers, now, Brookline Teen Center interns have planned, designed and solicited donations. With a site identified and secured in December of 2010, 2011 will be a pivotal year for BTC as we complete permitting, begin construction and move our fundraising campaign into full gear!
Over the past few years the interns and staff working on The Brookline Teen Center have worked hard to raise money, awareness, and support. Here’s a timeline to summarize our major accomplishments.
- BTC signs lease for the new Teen Center site.
- Paul and Saskia Epstein begin to explore the possibility of creating a teen center in Brookline.
- A major anonymous donor makes it possible to hire staff and interns for the Brookline Teen Center project.
- First Teen Summer Internship - Interns build a strong foundation and momentum for the Brookline Teen Center.
- Fenway Event - A celebratory event and auction at Fenway Park raises $100,000 and enthusiasm for the Brookline Teen Center.
- First annual BTC 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. Over 210 Brookline teens and adults participate in this basketball tournament and raise $100,000.
- Second Teen Summer Internship. With a large number of interns the BTC was able to conduct two major events:
- Potterpalooza - During Brookline’s celebrations for the release of the last book in the Harry Potter series, interns and staff raise awareness for the Brookline Teen Center by handing out flyers and telling people about the project. In addition they raise $3,500 by selling t-shirts and gift cards.
- Game On! - Over 200 teens learn about the Brookline Teen Center during a party at the Game On restaurant at Fenway Park. Highlights included park tours, batting cages, raffle prizes, and guest speakers Jeff Adrian and Theo Epstein.
- Third Teen Summer Internship - Joined by volunteers, most of the previous summer’s interns returned to collaborate with consultants on major building design plans, the creation of this website with Advanced Digital Websites, Inc, and a vibrant mural with Art Builds.
- Two separate $1 million donations were made to the Brookline Teen Center
- Fourth Teen Summer Internship, whose focus was more architectural developments of the building, as a suitable potential site is located for the Brookline Teen Center.
- Last Teen Summer Internship - Working with Advanced Digital Websites, Inc the interns finalized plans for the BTC online presence and launched this site.
The Brookline Teen Center has grown tremendously from the idea it was in 2005, and with your help it can become a reality. We are now actively fundraising $8-10 million both to build out the unfinished space we have leased and to invest for the long-term benefit of the Center (providing annual operating revenue and reducing the amount of annual fundraising necessary to sustain the full-time staff and operating expenses). Make a difference in the Brookline Community! Click Donate and Support to find out how you can become a part of the Brookline Teen Center project.