Thursday, July 25, 2024

New Teen Center In Laoag Promotes Youth Well-Being

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New Teen Center In Laoag Promotes Youth Well-Being

4413

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The Ilocos Norte College of Arts Trades (INCAT), with support from the local city government, has established its own “teenage center” to cater to the various needs of young Ilocanos here and help improve their well-being.

Aside from promoting academic excellence among learners, the school-based teen center aims to address the social and psychological needs of adolescents, Janet Cony Retamal, population program officer and gender and development focal person in Laoag City, said in a media interview Tuesday.

“The purpose of the center is not only intended to those with depression and those involved in bullying but it caters all from mental health, physical health and all other aspects concerning their journey as adolescents,” Retamal said.

The center is also expected to be a source of information, aid, and skills building, or simply a place for recreation or amusement of the youth.

In some cases, it can also be a facility that provides services such as counseling, medical and dental health and even reproductive health services.

She said the center will also provide free printing services to learners who cannot afford to print their thesis or researches, including those who may be needing of any form of information and services related to adolescence.

Equipped with information and communications technology gadgets, various reading materials and board games, among others, the teen center was created in partnership with the city government of Laoag through the City Population Office and the INCAT through the Laoag City Schools Division. A memorandum of agreement was signed last June 4 for the creation of the center.

“We are thankful to the city government led by mayor Michael Keon for pulling all the resources for the establishment of this one-of-a-kind teen center in Northern Luzon to cater to the needs of the youth,” Laoag City Schools Division Superintendent Joanne Corpuz said.

For his part, Keon said it is the responsibility of today’s leaders “to ensure that [teens] have access to the resources and support they need to thrive and succeed” because they are the country’s future leaders.

“The center will be a safe haven and source of inspiration as they navigate the journey of adolescents. We all know what happened to our school children during the pandemic. There are issues that young minds have to deal with,” said Keon, as he vowed to hire a psychologist in addition to the two guidance counsellors of INCAT to provide proper guidance to the youth.

On behalf of the youth, Michael Christophe Agustin, Sangguniang Kabataan Federated president of Laoag City, welcomed this development as he expressed hopes the teen center will help develop the skills of the youth, hone their passion, and provide essential support they need as it complements and reinforces the role of schools in educating, equipping, and empowering students. (PNA)