Giving Back and Nurturing New Leaders

The Tri CYA in Huntington has been serving local young people for 45 years.  Led by Executive Director Debbie Rimler, the community center provides a broad range of educational, developmental, social, and recreational programs, as well as counseling and advocacy services.  It is open to students in the Huntington, South Huntington, and Cold Spring Harbor school districts.

Besides recreational programs such as basketball, yoga, karate, swimming, and bowling, Tri CYA offers youth development programs including mentoring, peer mediation, a youth council, and natural helpers, a program which builds on youth’s empathy and leadership skills. Educational programs are also offered daily: homework help, computer skills, math wizards, andreading programs. During the summer, Tri CYA sponsors field trips to Robert Moses Beach, pools, movies, parks, and educational and cultural trips.

Rashiem 14, has been attending the center since he was young and now helps the other kids with their studies.

“It’s fun helping kids with homework,” he said.  It makes him feel good to help others improve their academics.

Tina Nelson, 21, has been working at Tri CYA for two years, leading groups and providing the young people there with a great role model. She has been coming to the Center since she was 7; and she is studying to be a social worker. Tina noted that “The staff always had something for us to do and would listen to our ideas,” when she came there when she was younger.   If they had suggestions for a program or class, staff would do their best to make it happen.  Students look up to Center staff, she said. Programs make a big impact on young people, said Tina, noting that there is a big difference before and after kids take part. The programs build confidence and motivation.

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l to r Khanan, Tatyana and Olivia, with Tri CYA staff Tina Nelson, especially like the Girls’ Group. They talk about their problems and get to know each other. It builds a sense of community and self-esteem, said Tina.

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