BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local non-profit is working towards its goal of connecting teens with their communities to encourage economic development in Columbia and Luzerne Counties.

The word ‘family’ comes to mind when speaking about the services of ‘For The Cause’s Teen Center’ in Berwick.

The non-profit has been around for more than five years and offers after-school resources to students.

“I teach the sewing lessons, we have others come in and do arts and crafts. We have tutoring for everything you need a tutor for, we have counseling services. If you think about it, if it’s not here, the kids will make it appear as an activity,” said Kari Dyer, Chairperson of For the Cause.

The brains behind the daily operations of the center are the teens, bringing to life ways to unite students and their community.

“We kind of just adapt with the programming and the help that we provide with the needs of the community,” said Kaite Caladie, President of For The Cause Youth Action Board

Caladie says she joined the center four years ago as a freshman and wouldn’t be where she is now without her experience at the center.

“It’s just a light in our community. For the kids to come, hang out, get away from home maybe, or just make new connections with the kids,” said Caladie.

Now with the help of a $25,000 grant from the PPL Foundation, For The Cause is kicking off its Academy of Young Entrepreneurs, a piloted nine-month course for high schoolers to learn how to start a business.

“Our kids essentially are running a business and those are the teens that are leading the center. So we not only wanted to help them, but their friends, friends of friends, and other school districts and really bolster the curriculum that the school districts are offering their students,” said Teresa Peters, Regional Director of the For The Cause Teen Center.

The Youth Action Board says it’s always looking for volunteers who want to help be the change in their area.

“Join because you want to make a difference and be passionate about what you’re doing and I think the most important thing is getting out there and helping other kids. You can help yourself more than you realize,” Peters added.

Peters said the center is really grateful to the PPL Foundation for providing them with the grant.

She says it will allow them to expand their services and even offer programs like these to more schools in the surrounding communities.