Upward Community enrichment programs are designed to offer healthy outlets for teens and pre-teens outside of school hours. When children feel productive and energized they are more likely to be motivated and act in a healthy manner. These programs help foster a healthy self-image in a safe and nurturing environment. In addition to their intrinsic social and emotional benefits, these programs are opportunities for participants to connect with Upward staff and healthy mentors. And, in some cases, a portal to targeted mental health services offered by Upward Community’s clinical office.

The Level Up Lounge

Upward Community’s unique drop-in center, “The Lounge,” provides teens with a safe, fun and nurturing environment; under the supervision and guidance of Upward staff. The Lounge is a destination for teens to come unwind, eat and enjoy fun activities in a relaxed atmosphere. At times, due to the warmth and acceptance they feel at The Lounge, participants will turn to Upward staff members for help in times of struggle.

The UpShots Basketball League

Upward Community’s UpShots Basketball League has a favorite activity for over 150 attendees each week. In addition to the fun, the league provides teens with a healthy outlet and an opportunity to learn important life skills such as teamwork, self-esteem, healthy competition and discipline. By the end of the season, many participants build close relationships with teens from a variety of local schools as well as meaningful connections with their coaches who serve as positive and healthy role models.

Weekend Retreats Supported By The Walder Foundation

Every year, the amazing Upward Community teens look forward to our weekend retreat focused on social and emotional health. This retreat, supported by the Walder Foundation, is designed to enhance self-acceptance, inner strength and resilience. The retreat is filled with fun programming and delicious food. From uplifting speeches to team building activities, the teens come back reenergized and inspired to continue working on their self-development and growth.

Project Impact

Project Impact is designed to help teens develop leadership skills and become future community leaders. After going through leadership training, Project Impact’s “Teen Influencers” are presented with community problems to solve. Each cohort of teens is overseen by a mentor who leads the groups in discussions of problem-solving techniques. Teens are encouraged to collaborate with community organizations in order to come up with the best solutions to the challenges they are working on. Giving to others has proven to be one of the greatest methods in building self-esteem and is one of the many benefits of Project Impact. Through this initiative, teens improve their self-esteem, connect with mentors and develop lifelong leadership skills.