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Lompoc Teen Center moving locations to expand outreach to at-risk youth

lompoc teen center
Posted at 5:57 PM, Aug 18, 2023

This past summer break, organizers with the Lompoc Teen Center took local students on trips to Six Flags, Universal Studios, and a horseback riding excursion.

But with the new school year just getting started, the nonprofit’s efforts are focused on supporting them in the classroom.

Right now, the Lompoc Teen Center can be found in the southwest corner of town off Avalon Street, but Executive Director Victor Cortes says relocation and renovation efforts are in full swing.

“Really, we are a learning center, and we are starting to transition our services to be more on-site at the schools,” Cortes said. “We want to be closer to them and that is part of the reason we moved down here.”

The new location for the Teen Center, off Pine Avenue and H Street, is just a short walk away from Lompoc High School, allowing for further outreach in the community.

“We have a case manager that works with the local schools, reviews their GPAs, their academics on a semester basis, so we are able to see what areas of need that they need,” said Alexandra Hurtado-Magana, Lompoc Teen Center Board Secretary.

She says before the Lompoc Teen Center was founded last year, middle and high school students had little access to safe spaces for focusing on academics with their peers.

Hurtado-Magana adds that the nonprofit’s six most recent high school graduates will all be attending four-year universities.

“We want to make sure we don’t see them out on the streets or confined to their four-block radius or that they don’t adventure out,” she said. “So with me living here, and my daughters now living here, I wanted to make sure they had a space. In order to help the children, they need a space where they can thrive in.”

However, a lot of work still needs to be done before renovations on that safe space are completed.

“We just got done removing all the carpet. What we are doing this weekend is prepping the walls to paint. After that, we will lay new carpeting, new flooring all through the space, and then we will also need help furnishing the place,” Cortes added.

Hurtado-Magana says in the nonprofit’s first year, more than $40,000 in scholarships were awarded to local students, adding that her team will be looking to build on that at their new Teen Center.

“Moving here to this central area, it is the heart of Lompoc. You have the most traffic, the shops, the high school is right across the street. This area, I see it as a perfect opportunity to attract and be there for at risk teens,” Hurtado-Magana said.

The new Lompoc Teen Center will reopen for the fall semester on September 5.

Cortes says this school year, the Lompoc Teen Center will also have a classroom space at Cabrillo High School in Vandenberg Village.

For their new facility, he says the nonprofit is seeking volunteer help as well as monetary donations