White Center Teen Program: 25 years of burnt toast, ballin’ and being awesome.

This year, King County Parks’ White Center Teen Program (WCTP), which takes place at the “Log Cabin” (a.k.a. White Center Community Center) at Steve Cox Memorial Park, has been commemorating its silver anniversary (that’s 25 years, for you non-Hallmark card-types!) with lots of reminiscing and festivities and a serious tallying up of some impressive accomplishments.

Happy birthday, WCTP!

Since its start in 1991, King County Parks’ White Center Teen Program (WCTP) has given White Center youth a safe, positive place to get involved in year-round recreation and educational programs and activities.  The ultimate goal is to reduce youth involvement in violent, criminal or gang-related activities and increase young people’s connection to community through civic and volunteer opportunities.

The WCTP has involved more than 26,000 participants since 1991, and right now, the program serves 1,200 young people each year, aged 12 -19 years old.

Here are some other stats that boggle the mind:

  • High school graduation rates among participants have increased by 19% and some 200 youth participants have earned their GEDs.
  • More than 100 former youth participants have gone on to work at the WCTP as recreation leaders, coaches, and instructors.
  • WCTP participants have:
    • painted 38 murals and carried out 300 community service projects
    • learned to cook 48,000 pieces of toast in the “How NOT to burn toast” class
    • scored 30,720 goals (and counting!) since the team started in 2007
    • written more than 1,200 poems
    • grown 962 tomatoes in the demonstration garden
    • played more than 24,000 hours of basketball
    • spent 16,000 hours in the computer lab
    • gone on more than 300 field trips to explore the outdoors
  • Some 85% of current participants are youth of color, and more than 18 languages are spoken in addition to English.
  • The WCTP continues to partner with more than 50 social service agencies, community groups, schools, and local businesses.

We’re glad to see we’re not the only ones who’ve noticed all the great things happening at the Log Cabin!

Last week, the King County Council honored the WCTP’s Aztecs soccer team and the PAL Boxing Club (which also takes place at the Log Cabin) at an official ceremony in Council chambers. And a few years ago, the Aztecs were featured in this short documentary.

Here are some WCTP folks helping out at the 75th anniversary party for the Log Cabin back in 2013.

Let’s keep the awesome coming for another 25, WCTP!

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