South Mountain Youth Center
Our South Mountain Youth Center offers after-school and summer activities for at-risk, minority ages 6 to 18. These programs include competitive athletic programs in basketball, soccer, boxing and volleyball as well as a tutoring program and educational workshops on gang prevention and sexual abstinence.
Without the center, many of these children would be left to care for themselves after school and in the evenings until their parents return home from work. Many youth in South Phoenix face circumstances that lead them to join gangs, become pregnant, use drugs and alcohol, or drop out of high school. The South Mountain Youth Center provides a safe environment with structured activities stressing education and discipline.
Through participation in the various sports programs, the children learn the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork and determination. Athletes must maintain a "C" average in school to participate in competitions and must also attend educational workshops on the dangers of gang involvement and the consequences of teen pregnancy.
As well as receiving mentorship and guidance from coaches, the sports teams also give children the chance at national recognition and scholarship opportunities.
Throughout its history, the South Mountain sports teams have been highly successful.
Boxing- 23 National Champions (including 4 females), 2 International Champions, and 1 World Champion
Volleyball - 5 National Championship teams and 3 National Runner-ups
Basketball - 5 National Championship teams
The center also partners with Arizona State University to provide student-tutors each weekday after-school for supportive, one-on-one academic assistance and mentoring for the youth. Each child receives at least 2 hours per week of personal attention from an ASU tutor during the school year.
For children not participating in the organized sports programs, the center provides a safe, supervised environment for playing billiards, foosball, and open gym activities as well as socialization.