The Teen Outreach Program (TOP) is an evidence-based youth development curriculum being offered at the Northeast Community Center. TOP empowers teens with the tools and opportunities needed to build a foundation of healthy behaviors, life skills, a sense of purpose, and avoid risky behaviors that could derail success. Other TOP sites in Syracuse include: Syracuse Community Connections (Southwest Community Center), the Boys and Girls Club, and La Liga.
TOP’s primary goals are to:
|Strong, quality programs ensure teens have the tools and skills needed to succeed.
||Caring, responsive and knowledgeable adults build relationships with youth by creating engaging learning environments.
||Well-researched systems-solutions create equitable and transformative opportunities for teens.
Learn more about TOP by reading blog posts from the Program Coordinator, Ethan Lewis:
So this isn’t my typical “Ask an Educator” post because it isn’t an answer to a question. Instead, I wanted to talk about some of the questions I get from young people in our community. I have recently set up a box in the Syracuse Northeast Community Center Library titled, “Ask Ethan.” Youth can drop in questions about health, growing up, school, and being an adult. I respond to about one question a week and post it for the youth to see. With this post, I wanted to share some of the most common questions I get from young people. Many youth want to know how they should talk to Continue reading →
Question: I don’t want to be mean, but why do some of these kids smell so bad? I think many of us have been in a situation where we are near someone who may not smell pleasant. We often don’t talk about this issue because it seems awkward or rude. But that’s exactly what Ask an Educator is all about – talking about things we don’t normally talk about. There are a few different causes for this, especially among young people. Some families cannot afford soaps, detergents, toothpaste, deodorants, and menstrual products. So young people in these families may be going without clean clothing or may lack the supplies to Continue reading →
Question: I’m a single mom with a son. I want to talk to him about puberty but, to be honest, I don’t really know what to tell him. What should I do? This article is a continuation of the October article on changes related to puberty. If you want to read part one, which is focused on the physical changes associated with puberty, you can find it here. This article will focus on the some of the emotional and social changes that occur in a young person’s life as they grow into teenagers. Teenagers are often described as moody and with reason. Hormones and rapid brain growth can change how Continue reading →
Question: I’m a single mom with a son. I want to talk to him about puberty but, to be honest, I don’t really know what to tell him. What should I do? Talking about puberty can be a difficult conversation for parents. Talking about changing bodies, sexuality, and growing up can be uncomfortable for both parent and youth. However, these are very important conversations to have. You can prevent a lot of worry and discomfort by addressing puberty early on. But what do you say? This article is to provide you with a general guideline to what happens during puberty. This article will focus on physical changes but there are Continue reading →
“Ethan, will you please give my kid the talk.” I get this question a lot! And I totally understand. It is uncomfortable talking about things like puberty, relationships, and sex. Especially if we came from households where our parents didn’t talk about these topics. And while I am happy to discuss these topics with young people, I want to talk about why it is best for YOU to talk to them. 1) Having “the talk” isn’t really about one talk. It is a talk that happens over and over again throughout a child’s life. It can begin with something as simple as teaching them right words for their body parts (yes Continue reading →
Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself? My name is Ethan Lewis and I’m the new Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Educator! But since that’s a mouthful you can just call me Ethan. I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work, I love cats, and my favorite snack is bubbletea. Are you originally from this area? I’m originally from Binghamton, NY but I moved to Syracuse for grad school. I’ve been living in the area for about five years. Can you describe what TOP will look like? TOP is a youth group aimed at youth 12-13. We will be meeting a few times a week to learn together, and Continue reading →
Do you have a specific question for the TOP Coordinator?
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These questions will be answered personally by our coordinator. If we receive multiple similar questions, he might even write a blog post to share answers with the whole community.