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Wilmington, DE – The Warehouse, a community center serving teens and young adults in the City of Wilmington and part of The WRK Group, has partnered with SL24 UnLocke the Light Foundation to open Sean’s Room, a mental health support room, and with the Mayor William T. McLaughlin Fund to open The Mac, a newly renovated gymnasium, in their building on the Northeast side of Wilmington. These two new spaces will provide valuable opportunities and support to The Warehouse’s hundreds of teen and young adult members.
“The WRK Group’s mission is strengthened by our partnerships, and the Warehouse’s partnership with organizations like SL24 UnLocke the Light and the Mayor William T. McLaughlin Fund continue to improve our ability to serve teens and young adults in Wilmington,” said WRK Group CEO Logan Herring. “Sean’s Room and The Mac are two beautiful new spaces that all Warehouse memb7ers can use and enjoy, and their opening reaffirms The Warehouse’s status as a regional leader in youth services.”
“The Warehouse’s mission is For Teens, By Teens, and I’m excited we are opening two spaces that really reflect teen priorities,” said Warehouse Teen Executive Board President Anthony Green. “People our age are asking for more mental health support, and they are always looking for the best opportunities for sports and recreation. These spaces will help us recruit more teens and give our members more ways to grow.”
Sean’s Room is a space where Warehouse members ages 14-24 can speak to qualified peer counselors about their mental health and wellness. It follows in the footsteps of Sean’s House, a similar space on the University of Delaware campus. Both are named after SL24 UnLocke the Light’s co-founder Chris Locke’s son Sean, who took his own life in 2018.
“It is exciting that two organizations that started virtually at the same time and have grown in parallel lines to be able to collaborate in this way toward a mutual goal: to improve the lives of youth in Wilmington. The fabric of whole-person growth is multifaceted and contains many threads to achieve a positive impact in the lives of young people. Having a Sean’s Room at The Warehouse adds another vital thread of mental health and wellness, where youth can meet with trained peers, decompress, and unpack feelings and issues they are experiencing,” said SL24 UnLocke the Light Foundation Executive Director Zach Ryan.
“The Warehouse is led by teens and is an organization where peers raise up peers—it is youth driven. SL24 UnLocke the Light Foundation’s model is Peer Support – youth driven- and youth helping youth. This is a perfect match to improve one of the most pressing issues facing our community, mental health.”
The mission of the Mayor William T. McLaughlin fund is to provide academic, athletic, social and emotional support to youth in underserved communities, helping them succeed in high school and later in life. The Mac is a ground-up overhaul and renovation of The Warehouse’s gymnasium. It features a brand-new floor, scoreboard, color scheme, televisions, and space for recreation, intramural sports, and events.
“The Teen Warehouse checks all of the boxes of our mission, and our Board immediately recognized that my father would want us to support it,” said Mayor William T. McLaughlin Fund Board President and the former mayor’s son Bill McLaughlin. “My father believed in always giving a helping hand because he received so many helping hands in his life. He overcame the barriers of poverty to become a war hero, a DuPont Company Supervisor, a mayor, and as Brother Ron said, ‘the hero of the non-profit world.’ A longtime champion of the kind of mentoring, guidance, and assistance that helped him achieve his dreams, dad was determined to share his dreams with future generations. Through his support of the Teen Warehouse, Mayor Bill’s dreams live on.”
The Warehouse’s mission is to revolutionize teen engagement in Wilmington through its pillars of Recreation, Education, Arts, Career, and Health. It has registered more than a third of Wilmington’s young adult population. The Warehouse is a member of The WRK Group (The Warehouse, REACH Riverside, and Kingswood Community Center), three aligned organizations serving the Riverside community in Wilmington. REACH Riverside, overseeing a $700M holistic neighborhood revitalization, serves as the managing partner for The WRK Group, and Kingswood Community Center has provided services in Riverside since 1946.
The Mayor William T. McLaughlin Fund’s board includes Founder Dave Sysko, Treasurer Joe Kane, Secretary Toni McLaughlin, and President Bill McLaughlin.
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