Kelsey Spaulding, Weber State University
Research states that the youth in almost any setting, will always need attention and assistance in navigating life. Pre-teen and teen years can be a time when children need attention, guidance, and direction while developing into mature citizens of their community and world (Larson, Positive Development in a Disorderly World, 2011). Within schools, adolescents are taught only a few of the fundamental ideas and practices that would help them to better navigate in an ambiguous world. In a study done by the New York State Afterschool Network, learning opportunities outside of the classroom help to increase the application of lessons and give adolescents a higher probability for achievement (Network, 2012). Outside of school, adolescent youth need to be able to interact with each other and gain an understanding of themselves and others in relation to the world. Without an interaction with other youth and different aspects of society, adolescents may become apathetic and lack an understanding of the effect they may have on others and their community (Balsano, 2005). In Ogden, Utah, there are a variety of cultures and backgrounds from which adolescent youth come (Bureau, 2012). It is important during the age of adolescence to interact in a personal, societal, and healthy environment during the time when their brains and personalities develop most (Larson, Adolescents’ Development of Skills for Agency in Youth Programs: Learning to Think Strategically, 2011). When given the proper tools, guidance, and opportunities to work with others and their community, adolescents become better leaders of the future. In turn they benefit society as a whole by creating a culture of understanding and willingness to work for an improved future (Network, 2012).In downtown Ogden a building has been proposed as a gathering place for youth between the ages of 14 and 18. The name of the building would be The Northern Utah Youth Center. The proposed design of the building has been created to accommodate a unique style of learning. It will provide a creative environment where youth are allowed to explore and experiment through the application of hands on learning. Utilizing the use of appropriate lighting, color and architectural design will allow for the youth to feel more at ease, creative, and constructive (Saxton, 2012). Within the two floors of the building, multipurpose rooms may be divided with partitions to maximize the use of space.