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Tykes & Teens THRIVE Project Empowers Teens

tykes and teens

At the 10th Street Center in East Stuart, kids are brimming with potential. And thanks to a partnership that involves Tykes & Teens, the Stuart Police Department, Children’s Services Council of Martin County, the City of Stuart and several caring adult volunteers, teens at the center are learning how to turn that potential into life skills that equal success. One recent project at the center called THRIVE (Teaching Health, Resilience, Independence, Values & Empowerment) provided 15 carefully selected Martin County kids in grades 6-12 with a free 4 day workshop designed to build resiliency skills, positive identity, and self-esteem. Participants included several kids from the Hibiscus Children’s Center. Volunteers conducted interactive presentations throughout the week on topics including health and fitness, social and dining etiquette, cooking, and overcoming obstacles.

Kelley Sorensen, Program Specialist for the Tykes & Teens Alternative to Out of School Suspension Program which is housed at the center, came up with the idea and volunteered to put the workshops together. A grant from the Andrew and Robin Hunt Philanthropic Fund at the Martin County Community Foundation helped make the workshops possible. Each night of the workshop had a different theme, including Moral Character, Work Ethic, and Problem Solving Strategies. One activity included the participants preparing and cooking an entire meal under the guidance of professional chef and volunteer Kelly Henkel. Another evening featured musician and motivational speaker Chaz Russell, volunteering to share inspiration through music and movement. Additional volunteers for the workshops included Tierney Henkel, Kelly Karpanty, Dean Higgins, Sandi Vadas, Louis “Joly” Boglioli and Tykes & Teens employees Dawn Cabrera and Mycle Hopman.


For more information about Tykes & Teens, visit

Photo 1: L to R:  Volunteers Chaz Russel, Sandra Vadas, Dean Higgins, and Tykes & Teens Program Specialist and THRIVE Coordinator Kelley Sorensen

Photo 2: L to R: Volunteers Tierney Henkel and Kelly Henkel

Photo 3: L to R: Volunteer Louis “Joly” Boglioli

Tykes and Teens


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