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Program Spotlight: Great Falls Youth Center

Program Spotlight: Great Falls Youth Center

February 8, 2024

Learn even more about our Youth Center by watching our new 30-second video.

March 16, 2018 marked a pivotal time in NJCDC's history — the opening of a free youth center for all Paterson teens, regardless of what high school they attend. The need for a youth center was overwhelming; though there are many great organizations that serve Paterson youth, there remained a need for a center that would stay open on weeknights and weekends to offer a variety of programming for older teens.

The Great Falls Youth Center, as it was christened, is a place where Paterson high school students can go after school to do homework, hang out with friends, and participate in a variety of fun and engaging programming. Located at 52 Front Street— next to JFK High School — the top floor serves as a space for students to do homework, play board games and video games, compete in tournaments (including ping pong, air hockey, foosball, and basketball), and learn culinary skills in the kitchen space — we even have an ice cream machine!

The lower level features a computer lab for homework and programming, as well as a music room and a recording studio. Currently, our students are hard at work recording a Youth Center anthem! We also have gardens that our students tend to in the warmer weather.

We recently expanded the Youth Center so we can serve even more Paterson teens! In December, we cut the ribbon on an expansion that includes a podcast studio where students will be able to share their stories and amplify the youth voice in Paterson; a new gaming suite with specialized computers for this popular activity; a multipurpose room that will support many new activities; and a multi-purpose addition to the original building. Youth Center participants also go on all kinds of field trips — swimming and workouts at the Ridgewood YMCA, Halloween haunted houses, go-cart and ice skating adventures, and more. But the fun isn't limited to these special events!

Day-to-day activities and events include:

  • Coffee houses with open mic nights

  • Home-cooked meals every weeknight

  • Talent shows

  • Movie nights

  • Inflatable sumo wrestling

  • Laser tag

  • S'mores making

  • Drone classes

  • Monthly birthday parties

  • E-sports – coming soon

The Youth Center also holds numerous fun raffles, where students have the chance to win different prizes (including iPads!) just for showing up and participating.

Join us in creating a vibrant community where Paterson teens can thrive, learn, and build lasting memories. The Great Falls Youth Center is not just a place; it's a home for growth and connection. We look forward to welcoming you!

The Youth Center's hours are:

Monday-Friday: 1:00 - 7:00 p.m. Saturday: 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. 1/2 Days & School Closures: 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.

If you're a Paterson teen interested in checking the Youth Center out, please sign up here or call 862-203-8803!

Please watch our Youth Center 30 second video

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