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Youth Empowerment Center

Aurora Youth Center Community Engagement Process Underway
Posted on 01/26/2024

As part of its ongoing efforts to help curb youth violence, the city of Aurora is inviting the public to comment on preferred services and programs for the planned Aurora Youth Empowerment Center, the first of its kind in the city. The center will be open to all, with a focus on at-risk and high-risk youth.

Those interested in providing feedback can complete the short survey in multiple languages at any time through Friday, March 29. Paper surveys in various languages will also be available at city libraries starting Tuesday, Jan. 16.

“It is vital that our community voices be heard, especially as it concerns something as important as serving our youth,” Aurora City Councilmember Ruben Medina said. “I encourage Aurora youth, parents or caregivers and those who work with youth, to complete this survey and also share it with their connections so we can get constructive feedback to help inform our future decisions about this center.”

The center will focus on violence prevention and intervention programs with the help of key community partners that serve youth. The center’s location and opening date are yet to be determined.

“We envision the Aurora Youth Empowerment Center as a safe place where youth will learn and feel supported and empowered for the future,” said Joseph DeHerrera, Aurora’s Youth Violence Prevention Manager. “Centers that are specifically geared toward youth for services, engagement, connection and programming have proven to be successful in fostering community and reducing violence.”

The city has allocated $2.25 million for this project—$500,000 of which was awarded to the city from the sale of the Denver Broncos in 2022 and the remaining $1.75 million from the Aurora Youth Violence Prevention Program.

Staff from the city’s Community Engagement Division and Youth Violence Prevention Program will partner with community collaborators, present at public meetings and engage with residents at events as part of an extensive outreach effort. The city will also collaborate with Aurora’s public school districts to obtain feedback from students and those that work with them. Digital and social media communication will also play a key role in engaging with youth.

City officials will consider the input collected as the planning of the youth center progresses. As details are finalized, the city will share information through city communication channels.

Community questions can also be emailed to [email protected].

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