In 2002 the Ravenna youth had a building on their mind.
The Youth Center began when a group of Ravenna students, knows as the S.W.A.T. or Students Warning Adolescents about Tobacco, received a $100,000 grant to start building a youth center. These students had the same passion for advocacy and awareness as did the Youth Advisory Board students. The youth recognized that they needed a place to do homework, have meetings, and could gather in a supervised place, and they decided to act on that.
The two groups came together to complete their building project. Judy Strate, sponsor for the group YAB group, helped to raise the last funds needed to complete the project
Strate applied and received $20,000 from Buffalo County Community Partners to finish their building and pay a director to be at the center August through January.
The center was completed in stages once the structure was complete. The center planned to have a computer lab, mentoring center, offices, and printing lab. The youth recognized that they needed a place to do homework, have meetings, and could gather in a supervised place, and they decided to act on that.
Linda Zinnell of Senecca Sunrise pointed out that the project was a dream turned reality. “I’m really proud of the youth of Ravenna who pursued their dream through all kinds of trials, and still made it a reality.” She said. —Ravenna News: September 24, 2003
After the building was constructed, the community came together to finish the inside. After a few “community volunteer sheetrock hanging days” and “community volunteer painting days” the site was fin
ally ready to open. The Youth Advisory Board planned a 3-day Open House on the weekend of September 19th 2003, funded by a Youth Grant from Community Partners.
“It’s finally here. After three years, countless volunteer hour, and many sleep-deprived days, the new youth center, Bulejay Headquarters, is officially open for use.” –The BirdFeeder (Ravenna School Newsletter): September 25, 2003
In 2004 the Youth Advisory Board was honored by The Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Foundation as the recipient of the Ak-Sar-Ben Ike Friedman Community Leadership Award, for the work they had been doing in the community.
“This was a project planned by kids for kids.” –Judy Strate, Ravenna News 8-28-02