Elevate361 now officially open

City of Corpus Christi officials celebrated the opening of a new West Side community center for a program aimed at empowering young people through mentorship, education resources, and career development opportunities.

The new building for the program, Elevate 361, which first had its ‘soft opening’ in Oct 2023, located on Morgan Avenue and will serve young people between the ages of 16 and 24 years old who want to finish their education or finding employment.

“When it comes to the future, for any community, especially for Corpus Christi, it is all about our youths.” Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo said during the new center’s grand opening on March 27. “Empowering, engaging, and helping them. Not every youth has the same opportunity. Not every youth has the same situation at home or otherwise.”

The program has a partnership with the Corpus Christi Independent School District to help the youths in need. Ron Kanipes, CCISD’s Student Services Director said the district will be providing “a volunteer to assist youths who have dropped out to return to school.”

Samantha Muilenberg, an English teacher at Solomon Coles High School, who volunteers at Elevate 361 said she was glad to see the building’s grand opening get some recognition and publicly raise awareness about its services to young people. “The main reason people don’t go to these resources is because they don’t know about them or there is not a human face attached to them,” Muilenberg said and added she’s referred about 20 students to the program.

Alana Polk, Elevate 361’s Center Lead, said the program plans to organize a retreat for the program’s youth leadership. Polk said it’ll help them bond and interact with the community. “We’ll be at a lot of outreach events and will have summits as well as a job fair to help other youths get connected,” said Polk.

Yukio McClure, youth leadership council member, believes the program focuses on fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment among its participants. McClure said Elevate 361 offers academic and career support with the goal to help them develop the confidence and skills needed to overcome obstacles and pursue their goals.

Elevate 361 next event, West Side Family Day, will be on May 11 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and will be open to the public. Family and friends welcome.

For more information about the program and how to get involved, go to https://elevate361.org or www.e2epartners.org . Contact Elevate 361 Center Director Kimberly Head at 361-563-2814. The center is located at 3015 Morgan Ave. Hours are from Mon – Fri 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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