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Thursday, December 24, 2009

United Teen Equality Center News

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Dear Friend of UTEC,

Having just celebrated our 10th anniversary, we are excited to reflect on our history.  In 1999, UTEC was a drop-in center with a volunteer staff and an annual budget of $40,000.  Today, we are a multi-service, youth development agency with a budget of $2 million, where hundreds of teens receive crisis intervention, and participate in peacemaking, alternative education, life/work skills-building, cultural and civic engagement programs.  Your support has made this growth possible.  I want to invite your continued support and partnership as we move into our next decade.

This year, we began construction of a solar panel system that will power 88% of UTEC's electrical needs.   We recruited 200 more youth through outreach and welcomed them to our safe haven drop-in programming.  We graduated 10 out of 13 eligible students during our first full year of programming in the Alternative Diploma Program in partnership with Lowell High School.  We trained and employed 17 teens through our Fresh Roots farm and culinary businesses, and helped youth build the necessary skills to enter the workforce.   Over 180 youth participated in such cultural arts programs as breakdancing, spoken word poetry, and sound recording.  More importantly, our Streetworker mediation team engaged 8 local gangs through the peace process.

With your support, we'll be able to accomplish even more next year:

  • Dozens of young people will be on the path to employment and career development through our on-going Streetworker program and the new Transitional Employment project.
  • 25 young people will be employed by the Fresh Roots farm and culinary program.
  • 50 youth will participate in education programs, receiving their high school diploma or GED through our Open School project.
  • Hundreds of teens will get more involved in civic issues through community service and organizing.

Despite weathering the economic downturn fairly well, we anticipate substantial cutbacks from state funding for programs in 2010.  Increased support from you is needed to bridge this potential budget gap. Your gift of $35 or more will make all the difference as we make our way into the New Year.  Please visit www.utec-lowell.org/donate to make an investment.    

On behalf of the teens of Lowell, we want to thank you again for your support.  Your investment has made such a difference in their lives, and we envision even more breakthroughs with your continued support and partnership.   

We wish you peace and hope this holiday season, and a Happy New Year!


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Gregg Croteau, MSW

Executive Director

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United Teen Equality Center
34 Hurd Street
Lowell, Massachusetts 01854

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