In 2016, Andrew Baird (Kimley-Horn Prescott) had a chance meeting with the director of The Launch Pad Teen Center in his hometown of Prescott, Arizona. After building a relationship with the director and organization, Andrew was invited to join the board and is now serving as President. Since then, he has worked alongside local teens to help incite confidence and provide a safe space for them to grow.
The Launch Pad Teen Center offers an abundance of educational programming, internship opportunities, and recreational activities to help teens get involved in their community or simply provide a safe place to go. Students can attend after-school tutoring programs, workshops addressing various life skills, recreational field trips, and have access to a free pantry—which includes snacks, hygiene items, and school supplies.
With funds from the Kimley-Horn Foundation, the Launch Pad Teen Center was able to purchase a bus to transport students to and from their location. Since many parents are unable to transport their children to the center after school, and some students may not have cars or their driver’s license, the bus picks them up from various schools around town. “Unless you’re a junior or senior in high school, no one’s able to get to the center,” says Andrew. “We don’t want travel to be an issue.” Additional funding through the Kimley-Horn Foundation will provide much-needed scholarships to allow anyone to participate in programmed activities.
Andrew is excited to be involved with a cause he believes in. As a parent, he’s happy knowing that resources like the Launch Pad Teen Center exist to provide students with support and community. “We hope that Prescott, or any small town, becomes a place that you would like to come back to at some point,” says Andrew.
To learn more about the Launch Pad Teen Center, you can visit their website, thelaunchpadteencenter.org.