White Center Teen Program celebrates thirty years of programming

The White Center Teen Program (WCTP) will celebrate its 30-year anniversary on June 30. Originally created by former King County Parks staff Shelley Brittingham, the WCTP (based out of the Log Cabin at Steve Cox Memorial Park) exists to create a space for young people to come together and build friendships in a safe space. Through discovering new activities and hobbies, teens build community together, practice leadership, and cultivate a sense of belonging. Over her many years of service to the WCTP, Shelley observed that “Every staff member who comes through the program improves it in some way.”

For many teens in the program, the WCTP has provided a place to engage in sports and other physical activities, receive homework support, or just have a place to hang out after school. Teens also have the opportunity for career development through the paid Recreational Program Aide staff positions through the WCTP. Teen program participant Allan initially came for the recreational opportunities and later became a staff member. His favorite memories of the program center on playing basketball and making new friends.

This summer, the teen program will expand to new programming sites at Dick Thurnau and Skyway Park. The Summer Sack Lunch program will return to being in the Log Cabin gym, after years of being outdoors during the pandemic. Each program site will offer free activities including crafts, games, and snacks.

In celebration of its anniversary, the WCTP will hold a community celebration on June 30th from 5-8 p.m. Organized activities including a kickball tournament, basketball, soccer, gardening, and other games are planned. Paz, a local artist from White Center, will also offer artmaking activities, alongside teen program Rec Aides who will facilitate activities. Sign up for a kickball team if you want a chance to win the tournament!

This article was co-written with contributions from Teen Program Leader Ridwan Dabar.

Leave a Reply