Rain did not deter the South Second Street Youth Center (SSYC) from hosting its Alumni BBQ which was held indoors of the South Second street location. Alumni and friends of the center gathered to enjoy traditional BBQ fare, music and to share stories of their past at the center. Also in attendance were members of the Board of the SSYC Foundation, Mayor Mapp, City Council members and Plainfield BOE.

The current location was a building formerly owned by Rona Plastics in the 1960s which was loaned to the City’s Recreational Department for a summer recreational experimental Project. A new state of the art facility is currently under construction at 200 Plainfield Ave and ribbon cutting is anticipated in late August. The new one story building will include 14 classrooms approximately 950 square feet each and 6 fully furnished learning centers.

Rev. Ron Thomas, President of the Baard of Trustees welcomed the crowd and then shared his past history with the SSYC as a volunteer, a part of his ministry in outreach to youth. After being impressed by the impact that SSYC had on the children in the community, he joined the Board 10 years later. The Board’s strategic vision is to have a greater impact on the children with a larger the facility to conduct its programs. Shared visions with the City and a developer, TD Partners, is making SSYC’s vision a reality. Rev. Thomas closed with “You are a part of the history and a part of the future”.

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Executive Director, Ms. Leah Dade who joined the center 2 years ago, commented on the deep rich history of the organization and the impact on many generations in the community. Many young adults who have grown up attending the center are now employed at the center in varying capacities.

Currently a resident of Plainfield, Ms. Dade expressed that she felt privileged in being able to live and work in Plainfield.  One of their current goals is to gather at least 500 people who have been impacted by the SSYC over the past 50 yrs to participate in the upcoming ribbon cutting as well as 50th year anniversary launch.

Citing the center’s partner TD Partners, Mayor Mapp stressed the how critically important partnerships are in order to accomplish goals in the city and is looking forward to the transformation of the Plainfield Ave area.

SSYC will be participating in the Generosity New Jersey’s 5K Run/Walk on Sunday June 10th, 2018. To learn about the SSYC please visit their website at: http://ssycfoundationinc.org/