Bethesda Leadership Center
In response to an urgent need in Erie for a safe place where teens to grow and learn, Bethesda Children’s Home established the Bethesda Leadership Center, with programs specifically designed for adolescents. The Center, located just one block west of Bethesda Trinity Center at 349 West 18th Street, takes a holistic approach to youth development by providing Independent Living Skills, recreational, educational, therapeutic, and preventive programming while promoting optimal physical, mental and social health. The Bethesda Leadership Center is also home to the Erie County Independent Living Program, a collaboration between Bethesda, Family Services of NW PA, and Erie County Office of Children and Youth Services is designed to assist youth between the ages of 14 to 21 who are or have been in foster care/residential placements services with the necessary skills for successful self-sufficiency and independence. The focus of the Leadership Center is to provide a neighborhood nucleus where youth and their families can learn to effectively manage stress and have fun in conjunction with being exposed to non-traditional types of programs. All activities will be guided toward the goal of supporting the continued growth of all of the participants, through the introduction of alternative or specifically focused activities that are not offered anywhere else in the area.
The Center coordinates the delivery of services with partnering agencies, and provides family development services to help program participant utilize a multitude of community resources to meet their goals. The staff will coordinate and implement an individualized service plan for each program participant and their family and document service delivery.
Programs and services include:
Adolescent Health Rhythms (evidence-based group drumming) – This new evidenced-based group drumming program was developed through research conducted at Bethesda Children’s Home in Meadville in conjunction with Remo, Inc. of California. The program will provide opportunities for those who participate to disclose their feelings and emotions in a safe, guarded, and fun environment while teaching kids how to cope with their emotions in a more productive and healthy way. Drumming groups will be held at the new center throughout the year.
Recording Studio – The recording studio at the Bethesda Leadership Center was designed to provide kids an opportunity to express themselves through the use of recorded musical expression. Through a joint partnership with the Yamaha Institute, the Center will allow students to earn the privilege of studio time through volunteering their time, demonstrating continuous positive behaviors, and academic performance.
Instrument Lessons – The recording studio includes 3 private lesson rooms were students will have the opportunity to learn various instruments such as drums, piano, guitar and others.
Music Making – Through a “hands on approach,” students will be given the opportunity to learn the workings of a real recording studio including instruction on how to develop their song writing skills.
Dance – Various forms of dance will be offered.
Family-centered, community-based services to enhance individual and group functioning – Through Bethesda’s BHRS Services (BHRS) individual services for youth and families are available to help youth through life’s most difficult struggles.