Malden Teen Center quiet room. Photo by Nicholas Bramante
By NICHOLAS BRAMANTE The Malden Teen Center--a safe, fun environment where teens can go and do whatever they need to do. The city of Malden has been itching for such a place for years. Recent violence in the city has worried students and parents alike, and so it would seem the need for a building like a teen center is at an all time high. Finally, this place has come into existence, just a street away from Malden High School, and very promising. Ever since Counselor Gary Christenson became Mayor Christenson, the push for a teen center became stronger. It was part of Christenson’s campaign--to try and make Malden a more teen-friendly city. The solution to fulfill his promise, it seemed, was to create a Malden Teen Center. In layman’s terms, a place where teens could go, when they have nowhere else to go, and just hang out. Without the worry of being in danger, or being caught in the cold, or the worry of not having the money to get in, the teen center fits the theory quite nicely. As far as activities go, the center has a wide variety of helpful and fun experiences that might actually appeal to teens. During the center’s open house, tour guides explained a selection of different activities, a few of them being videogame competitions, tutoring sessions, open use of computers for research, and possibly even group self defence classes. While all these activities may not appeal to all teens, there is a good chance that there will be at least something to interest everyone. Broken down into different areas, the center contains a main room, a quiet room (used for homework and studying), a music and art room, a kitchen, bathroom facilities, and even a library with a solid metal vault door, fit for a bank, for protecting its contents. This is a relatively small size for a center, but good things come in small packages. All that is required of teens to join is that they fill out a simple, single page registration form. No fine print, no stress, and no hassle. Possibly the best selling point of the center is that teens can join for the low, low, cost of nothing. All the services and goods in the center, are paid completely by the government. The main emphasis put on the center by coordinator Cathy Macmullin and her team is  to have a safe, clean environment for teens whenever they need it, so they can go and have fun. “[The teens] didn’t want it to be boring and they didn’t want it to be [a controlling environment], and they didn’t want it to be empty. They wanted, a true “teen center.”

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