Teen Action Support Center backers will have an opportunity to ante up for the nonprofit organization's All in for TASC benefit sometime this summer. The casino-night event was postponed due to covid-related concerns.
The nonprofit organization, which has locations in Benton and Washington counties, works to fulfill its mission "to empower teens to take action in their own lives and communities." The group serves Northwest Arkansas teens and their families through a variety of offerings such as "In Service," "First Steps" for pregnant or parenting teens, counseling, mentoring and assistance for hardships such as housing and food insecurity.
Coletta Patterson, executive director, says the group is growing and adapting to meet changing needs. "We will open a new teen center in Rogers to reach more teens in Benton County. We will provide a collaborative hub of resources and programming for teens including art and cultural activities, entrepreneurship, community service projects, life skills workshops, mentorship and more. Our goal is to innovatively create programming and services that meet the ever-changing needs of teens and their families in Northwest Arkansas."
Patterson says they have seen the effects of the pandemic on teens, and the need for low-to-no-cost counseling is at an all-time high. According to the group's 2020 Impact Report, the number of teens who sought counseling since last April tripled. TASC was able to meet the need by adding telehealth options to in-person sessions and socially distanced group sessions, providing 672 hours of individual counseling and 28 hours of group counseling.
"We are positioning ourselves to provide exceptional therapeutic care, educational and physical resources to assist teens dealing with trauma and [those] who are going through crisis as well as those who don't have access to co-curricular programs."
TASC's Teen Thrive program works to prevent homelessness when teens transition into adulthood by providing referrals to partner communities, working one-on-one with teens to provide life skills and general guidance.
Patterson says: "We recently heard from a student who participated in our Thrive program two years ago. He came to us when he had some difficulties with his parents and found himself with nowhere to live. He heard about TASC and within 48 hours, he said he had somewhere to go and other resources he needed to get back on his feet. Now, two years later, he has a stable job and housing and is doing awesome. He said he knows he wouldn't be in this position if it weren't for TASC."
For more event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.
Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]
At a Glance
Who: Teen Action Support Center
Mission: We empower teens to take action in their own lives and communities.
Information: (479) 636-8272 or tascnwa.org