Salem At-Risk Youth To Taste College Atmosphere At New Verizon Connect Center At Chemeketa, Oregon

SALEM, OR — Thanks to a community partnership with Chemeketa Community College, Verizon Wireless the YMCA, Salem-Keizer Public Schools and Marion-Polk Food Share, the Salem Boys & Girls Club will soon have new tools to reach at-risk youth in Northeast Salem and provide a new youth development program at a modular site on Chemeketa’s campus. Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes and Verizon Foundation Vice President Tim McCallion will highlight a grand opening ceremony on February 1st, at 3:00pm, at the new Verizon Connect Center; 4000 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem, OR, 97309, Building 62.

The Verizon Foundation provided a $40,000 grant to the Boys & Girls Club to make the Connect Center possible. “Verizon is committed to delivering the benefits of technology to meet educational needs and improve communities,” said Bobby Morrison, Pacific Northwest region president for Verizon Wireless. “The Connect Center at Chemeketa is the result of a tremendous partnership that we believe will be a magnet for youth and a model for the region.”

The program at the Verizon Connect Center will assist youth in grades 5-8 who attend the Swegle Branch of the Boys & Girls Club and local schools near Chemeketa College. The program will focus on communication career fields, such as journalism, broadcasting, internet safety and digital media, and be framed within the Club’s holistic approach to youth development through experiential learning. Instruction will be provided by Boys & Girls Club professionally trained staff and Chemeketa College professors, staff and volunteers.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with Verizon and Chemeketa Community College to provide this exceptional opportunity for our youth,” said Tim Sinatra, Executive Director of the Boy & Girls Club. “Providing outlets for our kids to thrive in uncertain times brings our mission to life.”

The Verizon Connect Center will link youth with career pathways, critical life skills and academic success using assets of the college campus and our community partners. The alignment of youth experiences and age-appropriate leaning concepts will provide a life changing opportunity for our youth.

“We are committed to giving young people opportunities to experience success on a college campus and learn how education will help them achieve,” said Cheryl Roberts, President of Chemeketa Community College.

About the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties For 41 years the Boys & Girls Club has given children opportunities for success in our community, focusing on three core areas: Academic Success, Character and Leadership Development, and Healthy Lifestyles. The Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties provides positive, guidance-oriented activities to over 10,500 youth ages 6-18 at seven youth centers, a health services center and community athletic leagues. Club Memberships are only $5 per program year, and the programs we offer are made possible by the generosity of our community.

About the Verizon Foundation The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit