By Audrey Gangloff

The things that I remember most from the CanTeen is the Christmas gift wrapping that the Optimist Club did with the CanTeen kids. It was a great experience and a wonderful way to get to know some of the kids – lots of fun for a great cause! Also, the dinner we had at the Center as a thank you for the Optimist support – another very special night with the kids.

By Adrianna Ramirez

I would just like to share how the CanTeen was to me in high school and the friends I have made. My parents and I still talk about how I used to be shy. One main reason that changed for me was the friendships, opportunities and the self-esteem I gained from joining/being a part of pride and the Teen Center. I really began feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and finally started having a voice, which I still have to this day, although it still sometimes gets me in trouble! I remember our trip to Louisville, the teen youth gathering with other groups in the area, and the camping trips we took. So, I guess what I’m saying is THANK YOU!!! I’m glad to hear you’re still going strong.

By Michelle Price

The CanTeen has affected my life. Here’s how:

  • I made friends
  • It keeps me out of trouble
  • I have fun
  • It brought me closer to my parents

My parents approve of the Canteen because my grades have been improving ever since. My average went from a D+ to a B+. My parents are so proud of me and I have the Can Teen to help me with that. If I wasn’t here at the CanTeen, I would be bored out of my mind! Thank you CanTeen!

Jamie C.

The CanTeen has affected my life in so many ways, we are like a family. The staff here are amazing and they actually take the time to get to know everyone. When you walk in, you are not judged, and we are all equal and that is how they treat you. I consider the CanTeen another home to me. Without it I don’t know what I will do the CanTeen cannot close. A lot of kids depend as well as me as an escape from everyday life and be with people that mean a lot to us. So please help the CanTeen.

Katie Nowa

Being a part of the CanTeen project in North Syracuse was a wonderful experienced as an adolescent. It gave me my first opportunity to have a voice and really feel like I was making a difference. The center allowed me to have a place to go when it seemed like no one else in the world could understand what it was like to be a teenager. I had friends there. Friends who did not judge me or criticize me but accepted me for who I was. Through these friends and the activities provided at the center I was able to finally feel connected to something. Looking back, I know the afternoons and weekends that were spent planning for the CanTeen, decorating, painting, re-arranging and just hanging our provided valuable lessons for adulthood. Thank you to everyone who made CanTeen possible and thank you to all of you who continue to make the center everything it is. It’s hard to believe 10years have come and gone, but I wish for many more decades of success and countless teens to find their own voice, whatever it may be.

Amanda Barnes

The CanTeen means a safe place to hang with your friends after school. It means rainy camping trips to Selkirk Shores but no one cared it was raining because your friends and favorite mentors were there. It meant having an adult outside of home or school that you could trust and talk to. The CanTeen means a lot of things to me and as an adult. I’m glad it’s still a resource in the community for the generations after me!