Peer support, information, anonymous access to trained counselors are hallmarks of one of the first, oldest online safe havens for kids
OREFIELD, Pa. – TeenCentral.Net, one of the earliest online safe havens for teens providing information, resources and access to trained counselors, celebrated 15 years of operation at a gala event on the Orchard Hills campus of KidsPeace on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013.
Nearly 50 attendees helped recognize the work of TeenCentral.Net, including the site’s staff, volunteers, local business patrons and guest speaker Miss Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Teen for 2013, Katie Schreckengast.
TeenCentral.Net’s director, Dr. Julius Licata, spoke of the hours of dedication from staff and volunteers, donations and support from businesses and individuals that help TeenCentral.Net operate, and the real-world impact of TeenCentral.Net’s work.
“As philanthropic endeavors go, we are having a tremendous impact,” Licata told the evening’s attendees. “We’re helping children with a range of issues like self esteem and bullying, while also playing an important role in stopping all-too-prevalent violence in and around schools today.”
Licata helped launch TeenCentral.Net with the help of the late Ginger Papp, a 32-year employee of KidsPeace to whom the evening was dedicated. He said he is looking forward to continuing to help teens from ages 11 to 18 all around the United States through TeenCentral.Net.
As Licata noted, TeenCentral.Net has helped more than 500,000 teens and parents throughout the United States since its launch in 1998.
“And just like the children we help, we continue to grow and adapt to the world around us. TeenCentral.Net added three new communities just this year: a section for foster care children, children of military families and children seeking to learn more about many of the world’s religions.,” noted Licata. “At fifteen, we’re just getting started.” The official anniversary of TeenCentral.Net’s launch is Sept. 8.
TeenCentral.Net is a unique prevention, intervention and aftercare Web site developed by KidsPeace, a national not-for-profit mental and behavioral healthcare charity headquartered in Lehigh Valley, Pa. TeenCentral.Net’s mission is to help teens safely and anonymously tell their stories and receive sound advice within 24 hours from specially trained volunteers and counselors. All postings by teens and volunteers are reviewed by Master’s level clinicians before appearing on the site. To learn more, visit TeenCentral.Net.