Being a middle school girl can be difficult, and a program aimed at helping them is now closing.
Ameliea Carr is a 6th grader.
She said she enjoys the time she spends at Abilene’s ‘Alliance for Women and Children.’
That time is coming to an end.
“I was like ‘wait, why does it have to stop,’” Carr said.
Their program, called ‘A-Teens,’ is for middle school girls.
“We meet with the girls once a week after school, more like a club setting. And they talk about their self-esteem and their character, and building relationships,” Executive Director Toni Brockway said.
Those meetings will be no more.
“We just are at a point where expenses for this program have outlasted the revenue,” Brockway said.
They project losing $70k, so the board had to make a tough decision.
Carr said it’s hard being a middle schooler.
“Being bullied, picked on, feeling like they have no friends. Feeling like a piece of trash, just sitting there,” Carr said.
“The issues that we dealt with in high school are now the issue these girls are dealing with in middle school,” Brockway said.
Their fundraising efforts will now be focused on their afterschool program for elementary students.
“It is the more sound program to move forward,” Brockway said.
But, the middle school girls are still in need.
“We’re so passionate about the kids and keeping them safe and giving them a great environment to be in,” Brockway said.
Staff are currently looking for other programs to plug them into in Abilene.
They hope one day, the program can start again.
Released by the Alliance for Woman and Children:
The Alliance for Women and Children is terminating the A-Teens program to focus fundraising efforts towards the Alliance After School Care program. Their Board of Directors voted on Oct. 17 and made their decision strictly based on finances.
"The decision to discontinue our A-Teens program is not one that was taken lightly," Jenny Young, president of the Alliance Board of Directors said. "We are committed to being good stewards of the donations and funding received by the Alliance for our programs and After School Care is financially stable. We will turn our efforts toward making Alliance After School Care the highest quality and meet the needs of the families we serve through this exceptional program."
The A-Teens program is projected to net a $70,000 loss at the end of its fiscal year, according to a press release. The program serves middle school girls in four local school districts and enrolls approximately 50 girls during the school year and 60 weekly in the summer.
The program's purpose is to provide a positive environment for girls to improve their self esteem and discover their potential.
The Executive Director Toni Brockway said the Alliance has contacted other youth programs in the community to make sure these girls have a place in other positive environments. Brockway also said, "Fees paid by out current clients will be reimbursed as well as any funding that we have received for the school year. If circumstances change over the next few years and we received funding for this program, we could bring it back."
Alliance After School Care serves 15 elementary schools in four districts including: Abilene, Clyde, Jim Ned and TLCA.
For more information, visit their website.