Since it’s inception, Youth Impact’s main goal has been to have our local youth become involved with the El Paso Community and surrounding areas. Everything from serving in our monthly food pantries, helping with city cleanup and outreach events, and most recently, volunteering their Summer to help organize and enhance the local Canutillo Recreation Center.

What used to be the Canutillo Elementary School, years ago, now houses several departments like the Student Support Services and a new Health Clinic. Living in the Canutillo area, board members of Youth Impact noticed there weren’t parks or recreation facilities for our youth to enjoy after school or during summer vacation.

We connected with Nancy Torres, the school’s Health Facilitator, to partner up with their effort of having a venue for the local youth to have a place to hang out, which was one of our goals.

Our Youth and Community Service

Partnering up with CISD was something that we will always be grateful for as this is one of our goals, have a meeting place for our youth. The center had been needing some organization and clean up so we all rolled up our sleeves, got some local Canutillo students that were willing to volunteer and got right to work at the beginning of June up to the end of July.

Here are some images from our Facebook Page:

The center will include a food pantry, local hangout with activities for our kids, plus a community closet; aside from a fun place to hangout for youth.

The center currently has access to pool tables, foosball tables, ping-pong tables plus various board games.

The school was able to send letters home before the end of the school year to those students that needed volunteer hours, plus communication through our social media and we were able to get a handful of amazing volunteers.

Since volunteering can help the youth gain self-confidence, we encouraged parents to drop them off and pick them up afterward. They could stay and help too if they desired.

We deemed it feasible to work on this project during the summer vacation to give them a place similar to a Summer Camp-type event. After serving, the youth would have the liberty to enjoy some time with peers. Many would play with the equipment available or enjoy a game of soccer.

Why Community Service is Important in Youth

Our board members’ purpose and mission for Youth Impact is to help youth develop character through leadership skills, serving the community and being of impact to others.

Not only will this help them physically but also help with their leadership skills, sense of belonging and the willingness to become involved within their community in the future.

As this article mentions, “Volunteering helps students enhance their personal knowledge, grow from new experiences, and develop better interpersonal communication skills.”

While serving others within their community, they are gaining a lot of great experiences and skills that they can then use for their own future.

Conclusion

We made great progress this Summer but still have plenty to do to help make our local Canutillo Community Empowerment and Recreation Center a success. We are passionate about our youth and want to provide enrichment activities, fun learning opportunities and a place where our youth can prosper and as a result, we have submitted a grant request to State Farm’s  State Farm Neighborhood Assist® grant.

We are in the running from 200 other causes and would love your help in helping us win this grant.

In order to make the community center functional, we will be using the funds toward finishing it up and making it functional for our local Canutillo students and families. 

We ask that you help us by voting for our Canutillo Community Empowerment and Recreation Center cause by going to this link, creating an account and submitting your vote. They allow up to 10 votes per day and today you can help us win this. Please share with others and be of impact.

Upcoming Event

If you are interested in volunteering or donating, please feel free to contact us.

For more details, visit our Facebook page.

We offer this pantry every third Saturday of each month and we ask that you please share this information with those in need as well.

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CISD and Youth Impact Collaborate. Read how one local nonprofit collaborates with the local school to help make improvements. #foodpantry #servingourcommunity #elpasononfprofit

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