A resource center, closely resembling a college student center, is on its way to setting up shop in the old Prestige Academy Building at 12th and Thatcher streets in Wilmington.
The premise of this REACH Riverside project will be to keep teens off the streets by giving them somewhere to study, play, and most importantly--seek guidance.
Capital One owned the property and donated it to the cause in late 2018.
Joe Wescott is the Delaware Market President for Capital One and helped procure the building for the future site of The Warehouse and other REACH Riverside undertakings.
"The teens, here, are active stakeholders in creating this space--the design thinking behind what this space is going to look like--they are involved with what the programming is going to look like. They deserve a great facility; they're going to get it, and we're excited about that," said Westcott.
The Warehouse is one portion of a three-part plan to get the community to involved and more proactive, with this part designed, executed and monitored by teen peers.
Ané Robinson is a freshman at the University of Delaware, whose from the area and has been one of the more senior mentors in the program, ramping up towards the opening of the new facility.
"Most people think to be involved or to make a change that you have to be older or in some government position, when in reality, you can be a teen like me or my team and get a lot of work done as well as make an impact within the community," said Robinson. "Because we're teenagers and we're serving other teenagers, we know what's best."
Anaya Patterson is a sophomore at Mount Pleasant High School and noted that a program by teens, for teens helps students like herself realize that they have a voice, and it is being taken seriously.
She also hopes that programs like REACH Riverside will continue the drop in crime in Wilmington by giving teens in the city more opportunities.
"It starts at the root--it starts with the young people, the children and the teens, especially with places like this and instilling in the kids that they don't have to do that--they don't have to follow that path, whether it's their father, mother, brother or whatever--instilling that in them just helps other generations grow and have a better mindset," said Patterson.
New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer had a special attachment to the facility as he once taught middle school at Prestige Academy before running for political office.
"I think every middle school teacher has this thought, where you spend a few minutes counting the adults in the building, and then you count the kids," said Meyer. "Your greatest fear is that one day the kids will take over the building, [but] here we are."