The Lounge drop-in center provides teens with a safe, fun and nurturing environment, under the supervision and guidance of Madraigos staff and social work interns. The Lounge is a destination for teens to come play, talk, eat and “chill” in a relaxed and non-judgmental atmosphere. Keeping teens off the streets and away from harmful activities is the main purpose of the Lounge, but it’s not the only benefit. Oftentimes, due to the warmth and acceptance they feel at the Lounge, participants will let down their guard and confide in Madraigos staff, leading them to getting the help they need. In short: the Lounge is a place where teens can be themselves and express themselves.
Throughout the year we have events such as Sukkos, Chanukah and Purim parties, a Superbowl party, BBQ’s, and seasonal outings, so our teens and young adults have a pressure-free address to go to during pivotal, often socially challenging, times. Participants learn that they can have a good time without alcohol and drugs and develop a healthy social identity. These seasonal events give many teens and young adults a sense of belonging and bring greater value to holidays and milestones.
Research has shown that a positive relationship between a child and a Big Sibling mentor has a direct and measurable impact on the child’s life. Greater confidence in their school work, improved relationships with their family and other social advantages are some of the benefits of the Big/Little Sibling relationship*. Our Big Sibling program is made available to youth that would benefit from the companionship and added encouragement of a role model. Our clinical staff interviews and trains all the Big Sibling volunteers and, after setting them up with their Little Sibling, supervises them on an ongoing basis, both individually and in group settings.
*based on a 1995 study conducted by Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), an independent research organization
Throughout the year Madraigos programs provide healthy outlets and satisfying enrichment for teens, after school and on weekends. The Madraigos Basketball League is designed to occupy boys with an invigorating and competitive sport activity. The girls’ league (WMBL) also gets women from the community involved, creating a positive energy and team-building dynamic that benefits the teens and women alike. Some schools opt to host exercise-dinner-discussion programs in which, after an intense workout, the teens have dinner with Madraigos staff members and discuss topics relevant to their lives.
For teens the summer is a particularly challenging time. With much free time on their hands and few structured activities to occupy them, teens can drift into counterproductive and sometimes risky behaviors. Our summer program is designed to provide teens with healthy and stimulating activities to fill their time in safe, fun, growth-oriented ways. Those who are looking for summer jobs, Madraigos works to match them with potential employers in the community. These summer jobs not only provide income but also teach skills and responsibility.