El Dorado’s Teen Center

Whitney Jones, EHS Hi-Gusher Staff

Local students have found that activities and services provided by the Teen center have affected them.


In past years, programs that have been provided by the teen center involve taking college tours and bank tours, where students are taught life skills that they’ll need in the near future. Due to COVID-19, things have changed. Of course, tours have been taken out for now, but members are still taught essential skills through guest speakers every few weeks.


Longtime member, DaMadja Kimble, reminisces about going on tours to multiple banks within the city. “I can vividly remember going to Southern Corp. They showed us almost everything within the facility. Stepping into that vault was amazing!”


Another program offered is the Youth of the Month and Youth of the Year Program. Students who present themselves as leaders in the Teen Center are selected Youth of the Month. A Youth of the Year is selected in May, and then that student goes on to compete at the Youth of the Year state competition. If they win the state, they can go on to represent the state at the National Competition. 


This year, the Youth of the Year program was significantly affected by COVID-19. Participants had to do everything completely virtual this year. Along with the traditional requirements, candidates had to get onto a zoom at a specific time to meet with judges. The pressure is taken off by a ton when the Youth is only presenting their speech to the judges and not an auditorium full of people, but the pressure and the nervousness of it all still remains. 


Once done presenting their speeches, the candidates were asked numerous questions to see what and how they think when asked these questions.


After a few hours of consideration, a winner was announced on a zoom with all of the candidates.


Unfortunately, our El Dorado Youth of the Year did not win the state competition, but they were still rewarded for their efforts.


It has been recently announced that the Teen Center will be moving to the Northwest Avenue unit on December 21. The Unit on East Center Street will become another K-6 unit.