Six Corners home to new teen center
by BRIAN NADIG
A new 10,000-square-foot teen center which is opening this week in the Six Corners shopping district will offer mentoring, vocational training, high school band nights and Bible study.
"I’m here to help teens find things they are good at and hit their target in life," Slingshots director and founder Bob Anderson said. The nonprofit group takes its from the story in the Old Testament in which David uses a slingshot to slay Goliath.
The center is located in the basement and the first floor of the ornate Peoples Gas Light and Coke Building, 4839 W. Irving Park Road, which was built in 1926 and designated a city landmark in 1987. The Lydia Home Association, which owns the building, maintains offices on the second floor.
While the center will hold discussions about the role of God in teens’ lives, it is nondenominational and will not be "preachy," Anderson, who was once a youth pastor at South Park Church in Park Ridge and who has run sports camps, said.
"Every kid is welcome to come in," Anderson said. "I want to help them to study the Bible on their own."
The hours of the center are 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. On some evenings it will hold group discussions for middle school and high school students on issues such as parents and bullies.
The center also will offer free homework assistance, games and social activities. It plans to open a vocational training program that will feature a wood shop, a computer facility and a fashion-merchandising boutique next year.
Slingshots has an eight-member board of directors and is completing the process of filing for nonprofit status. In addition to Anderson, the center’s other staff member is Jenn Sydow, who has worked with youth ministries
The center will hold open houses from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 5.
The center’s telephone number is 847-873-4762. Information about volunteering or donating to the center is available at www.slingshotschicago.com.