Prairies Youth Center opens opportunities for young people

“It’s important to empower these kids to be successful in whatever they want to do,” said PYC counselor Alyssa Stauffer. “We see kids growing up here, interacting and making lasting friendships, that’s what it’s all about.”

Some who spend time with the PYC as young children find themselves at the center, but this time in a volunteer role. Such is the case of Julian Smith-Custer who came through the center nine years ago and is now working to stay involved.

“I love being with these kids and helping them,” Smith-Custer said. “They look up to you and want to be like you, so you have to make sure you give them a good guide to follow.”

The center underwent a renovation in 2020 which expanded the center’s capabilities and opened up more space for activities. On June 18, the center opened its new game room which offers free arcade games for those who visit.

“It was so important that we opened up space for more activities and events to take place and that we gave these big kids the opportunity to unfold,” said Trina Pauley, liaison manager. with the Air Force Materiel Command School. “We want these children who pass through here to have an enjoyable experience.”

The PYC continues to improve ways to give military children as many opportunities as possible and creates a space where children can go to interact with other young people in similar situations.

For more information about the PYC and the activities and clubs they offer, please contact them at 937-904-4700 or visit them at 641 Chapel Lane, Bldg. 234 Riverside.

Children from the Prairie Youth Center participate in an arts and crafts activity at the Prairie Youth Center on June 22. US AIR FORCE PHOTO/AIRMAN 1ST CLASS JAMES JOHNSON

Children from the Prairie Youth Center participate in an arts and crafts activity at the Prairie Youth Center on June 22. US AIR FORCE PHOTO/AIRMAN 1ST CLASS JAMES JOHNSON

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