Education / News

After school program provides teens a platform for exploration

Meaghan Michel

(Buffalo, N.Y.) – The Gloria J. Parks Community Center offers a free program for teen girls that strives to provide Buffalo adolescents with fun and healthy life skills in a safe environment.

“Food For Thought” is an after school program that is offered for girls ages 12-18 through from the Buffalo community.

Teens learn to make affordable, nutritious meals and snacks that can be prepared at home, while developing friendships with  their peers and finding inspiration through activities with local community role models. Opportunities are offered for career and college exploration and mentorship.

Dayatra Hassan, the director of the program, says she was super excited about becoming apart of the program because it speaks to what she is about and what she stands for.

“Our mission for the program is to of course grow the program. We would like to reach as many teenage girls as possible,” said Hassan. She said she hopes the program will also serve boys in the future.

“I like the separation of the boys and girls but I would like to also facilitate opportunities for them to come together so we can teach them how to come together, because that’s a very realistic scenario that they have to live together in this world. So, that’s our main focus, growing the program and hopefully serve the boys as well,” she said.

The girls will have the opportunity to eat and socialize with guest experts to develop trust and social skills with adults outside of their families.

During the character development workshops, guest experts  lead experiential, interactive activities exploring subjects like self-esteem, positive relationships, health, and college and career preparation.

Hassan said her advice to young teenage girls who are looking for motivation would be to “explore.”

She says having that focus and asking yourself what is your purpose is important.

For more information or for an application please call  716.832.1010 x 202 or visit the Gloria J. Parks located at 3242 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214.


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