To create a center-city space where teens and young adults are valued, safe, and their hope is nurtured by providing a strategically-located partnership facility that makes recreation, leadership development, and job opportunities available.
The Change Center grew out of the Save Our Sons Initiative, championed by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. This effort focused on reducing violence-related deaths and increasing opportunities for success among teens and young adults. The Save Our Sons Advisory Committee found that many teens and young adults who think they are too old for after-school and youth programs begin to hang out on the streets with nothing to do — a recipe for trouble.
The Change Center wants to help address this problem. By offering a safe place for teens and young adults to play and relax, we can create another path. The Change Center helps youth form strong relationships, opens doors of opportunity that lead to positive outcomes through recreation, teaches job-skills, and promotes part-time employment.
Thanks to the support, dedication, and commitment of 9,400 contributors, the dream of a Change Center became a reality when we opened our doors to hundreds of teens and families on December 21st, 2018. The Change Center would not be possible without the incredible people and organizations who believed in the vision to transform our community through work and play.