From press release
CHEROKEE, N.C. – The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in cooperation with Boys and Girls Clubs of Cherokee opened the new 15,360-square-foot Snowbird Youth Center (SYC) on July 16, 2014.
The new center, replacing an older facility used for the past 12 years, offers classrooms, teen center, arts and crafts room, computer lab, teaching kitchen, lobby and dining room, and multipurpose room for indoor sports.
“We’ll triple the number of young people we can serve every day,” says EBCI Director of Community and Recreation Services, James Bradley. The new center has a staff of eight, double the previous number.
EBCI Principal Chief Michell Hicks pointed to the new Snowbird Center as a major step forward in helping tribal youth. “Snowbird not only offers high quality Boys and Girls Club programming, there are programs that teach our young people about risks associated with drug and alcohol abuse, as well as teen pregnancy. There’s also help with homework and tutoring, as well as opportunities to learn about Cherokee culture, gardening and cooking.”
The Snowbird Center, next to Lake Santeelah and the Cheoah Ranger station, offers after school and summer programming for youth ages 5 to 18. It features a new onsite playground, a new hiking trail built around 20 acres of property, and fishing, swimming, canoeing and environmental conservation projects.
“Snowbird Youth Center will help our young people reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. It is part of our renewed tribal focus on the future of our people,” says Chief Hicks.
SYC is located at 208 Snowbird Youth Center Rd., Robbinsville, N.C.