TWP makes the Vivian C. Mason Arts & Technology Center their new headquarters
The City of Norfolk has entered into a lease agreement with local non-profit Teens With a Purpose-The Movement (TWP) to provide a designated location for teen programs in the city. TWP will relocate their headquarters to the Vivian C. Mason Arts & Technology Center (VCM), 700 E. Olney Road, a city-owned recreation facility. The center is also home to the Department of Recreation, Parks & Open Space’s (RPOS) Youth Services Bureau, which provides city-wide teen programming such as the Norfolk Youth Council and After the Bell after school program. The change in location will allow for increased partnerships between the groups, in turn providing more opportunities and programs for area teens.
Darrell Crittendon, Director of RPOS, states “Having TWP join us at VCM gives both organizations the opportunity for increased collaboration on events and programs that will benefit Norfolk’s teens. With the enthusiasm and past success that TWP brings, we hope to transform the space into a place specifically for teens, where they can take part in recreation, leadership, mentoring and educational programs.”
When TWP became a community based organization in 2007, TWP had membership of almost a dozen young people. They met in a small room in Blyden Branch Library with the mission to empower young people to use their voices, their energy and their talent to effect positive change in their lives, the lives of others and throughout their community. With a focus on building self esteem, connectedness and knowledge to help young people address pressing issues in today’s society while creating a safe, non-judgmental space for self expression they forged on.
Over these few short years more and more teens joined and became trained peer leaders. They all wanted to be a part of this cool eclectic group of trend-setters who were forming a terrific support network for one another. They were eager to engage and to give back. They looked forward to rehearsals so that they could perfect their talent and aspired to help change the world one teen at a time.
Today, with more than 40 youth members, TWP impacts thousands yearly during community events, workshops, teen summer camp and ongoing teen peer-led events. “Moving our program from one day a week at the Crispus Attucks Cultural Art Center to five days a week at VCM has lifted time constraints and removed space barriers. Our growth and development seems boundless,” says Deirdre Love, Founder and Executive Director of Teens With a Purpose.
TWP’s youth leader, Robert Johnson, TWP shared this pointed quote by Shirley Chisholm, during the Council Hearing that confirmed the new tenants: “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege to live on this earth.” TWP vows to make this rent payment, on time, every time!
The Vivian C. Mason Arts & Technology Center is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Both groups invite teens to stop by and receive information on upcoming events and programs. The Vivian C. Mason Arts & Technology Center is located at 700 E. Olney Road in Norfolk Virginia. For more information about Teens With a Purpose visit www.twp-themovement.orgor call (757) 747-2679.
Teens with a Purposewas developed in 1996 with a mission to promote abstinence and help build self-esteem through innovative programs for teens in the Hampton Roads area. Throughout the year, TWP hosts numerous events and seminars to provide HIV and STD prevention information and focus on preventing gang violence, dating abuse, teen pregnancy, distracted teen driving, bullying and other life-changing issues facing today’s teens. Additionally, the organization utilizes evidence based curriculums such as Community Promise; Choose Respect, and Reducing the Risk.
The Norfolk Department of Recreation, Parks & Open Space (RPOS)enriches thequality of life for Norfolk residents by providing a full spectrum of recreational programming for youth, adults and special populations. RPOS maintains over 100 City parks, 18 recreation centers, four computer resource centers, three neighborhood service centers, five specialty centers, six pools, eight cemeteries, over seven miles of beaches, and a number of playgrounds and athletic facilities. For more information, visit www.norfolk.gov/rpos, like the RPOS Facebook page at /NorfolkRPOS, or pick up the latest Good Times magazine at a Norfolk recreation center near you.