Century Station Youth Activities League Offers Safe Haven to over 500 Kids with its Programs & Sports Complex

On Monday, June 23, 2014 Century Sheriff's Station Captain Ernie Chavez, Department Executives and the LA84 Foundation re-dedicated and re-opened the Century Youth Activities League (YAL).

The Century Sheriff's YAL was created in 1996 by using the former Florence-Firestone Park Sheriff's station and transforming the building from a law enforcement facility to a community safe-haven for children.

Over the course of years, this program has continued to grow and expand in its efforts to reach the youth in the community and show them a better path in life. This year also marks our second year providing an expanded summer program which serves over 500 children each day.

There are dozens of programs and activities that children can participate year round which include tutoring, a computer lab, martial arts, boxing, dance, arts and crafts, and various field trips.

The YAL is excited about a new sports complex which boasts two regulation-size basketball courts and a soccer field that has been built with the great assistance of the LA84 Foundation. The legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games is still alive 30 years later through the LA84 Foundation which funds youth athletics in Southern California. The Century YAL was granted a major investment of $126,800 to turn an old parking lot to a brand-new sports facility.

"One of the largest challenges we face today is in the service to our youth," stated Century Station Captain Ernest Chavez. "We are faced with an economic time where school budgets and after-school programs are severely cut and yet the most critical hours for a child have become the period right after school. This is the time when we have found a spike in crime, where our children are either becoming involved in drugs, gangs, or criminal behavior or worse yet, have become a victim to the crime itself."

"It is our program that keeps hundreds of children safe and off of the streets, in a community where gangs would quickly welcome them towards the wrong kinds of activities," says Sergeant Veronica De La Rosa, the center manager of the YAL program. "Our programs fill in for those hardworking parents who have to work long hours to sustain their family or in cases where the children have little to no parent involvement or are part of the foster care system."

De La Rosa added, "It is our challenge to direct the youth away from these gangs and teach them a sense of personal pride, community service, leadership skills, and most importantly to promote the importance of education."

Century Youth Activities League is open for its expanded summer program, Monday through Friday from 10am 6pm and is located at 7901 S. Compton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90001. For more information about the Century Youth Activities League program, call (323) 586-7250 or visit www.CenturyYAL.org

About the Youth Activities League:

There are 17 Youth Activities Leagues throughout Los Angeles County and every one represents a safe haven. For some kids, the local Youth Activities League is a place to get some much-needed help with homework. For others, it's a place to shoot some hoops or learn a new sport without fear of physical violence or becoming tangled up in many of the other negative distractions the streets have to offer.

For others, it's literally a place to call home. http://sheriffsyouthfoundation.org/programs/youth-activities-league/

Forwarded by:

Public Information Officer Nicole Nishida

Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau - Newsroom

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department


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Century YAL Safe Haven
Century YAL Safe Haven

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