Young people living in rural areas are in trouble. According to a plethora of recent data[1], suicides among rural youth are more than twice the rate of teens living in urban settings and this gap is widening. Anxiety and depression among adolescents were at dangerous levels before the pandemic.[2] In addition, death by gunshot has surpassed vehicle crashes to become the number one killer of American youth in recorded history.[3]

What we do for our youth matters!


Our mission is to place value on teens.

Our mission is defined as that which is Valued by God. The purpose of the organization is addressed in the Purpose Statement. The means to bring about the mission is outlined in the Strategy section. There are four areas dealt with in this Mission of Value.

We value young people and believe it is our privilege and responsibility to support and mentor our teens as they chart their life's course. Teen years can be the most difficult, and exciting, and as each young person navigates this season of life, we stand with them.

The Values that frame our Mission are:

Value is intrinsic

Value stems from an intrinsic quality that all people possess. Teens are people and are valuable. Value does not nullify responsibility but it does force the mature adult to see each person as God sees him or her- Valuable.

Value is not based upon performance. Humans are created in the image of God. Young people have the greatest opportunity to flourish when they understand they are valued by others.

Value is communicated through relationships

We believe healthy relationships are the key to showing value. It is through unconditional love and acceptance that trust and value are communicated. Relationships require resilience and regular maintenance. Patience, humility, and acceptance are key to encouraging ongoing relationships.

Here, a genuine relationship is one where the caring adult seeks to look beyond the teen's life resume, but instead, gazes at each person as possessing their own story—a story just beginning.

Teens are valuable and need to be encouraged through a positive love-centered relationship.

Value is communicated through tailor-made programs

The temptations facing teens today are enormous.

Providing a positive alternative to teens at these, the most dangerous and vulnerable times is essential if we are to be proactive at saving them from self-inflicted personal destruction.

Value is communicated through a quality facility

Parks and city streets have become the place most frequented by rural teens. In these areas, little or no supervision is available and the opportunity to be involved in destructive activities is overwhelming. In order to compete with places of potential destruction, any type of alternative program must be high quality.

An inviting and attractive atmosphere is important when operating a teen center. When a young person walks into our building, it matters that they feel special and safe. It is important that we do not offer teenagers a run-down building filled with other people’s discarded furniture.

Too often we give teens leftovers and then attempt to show them we think they're important. We believe that a quality facility is a vital way to show teens we value them.

The Activities provided here are many.

wvt stage side from above facing north

The Target Audience

Our teen center is for those between the ages of 13-19 years old.

Our Purpose

To value teens

Our purpose is to communicate to teens that they are important and valuable to their community, the Church, adults, and all of society.

Since the creation of the teen center back in 1993, many wonderful relationships have begun which to this day remain strong. We count among our friends those teens who were among the first to enjoy the teen center. Now, their children are teens who hang out at the teen center.

They have touched our lives forever and we have touched theirs. This is a wonderful cycle that will continue even after volunteers and board members leave and new ones take their place.

Relationships Matter

The great dilemma of any youth generation is the result of lacking or destructive relationships. Peer groups offer relationships, but these are often not healthy since they are based upon immature people's values. Gangs offer security and a substitute family but offer no hope, unconditional love, or forgiveness. It takes a mature caring adult to offer a genuine and valuable relationship to a teen.

We have chosen a neutral ground within the community to be available for teenagers. Many leaders can offer information to a young person in the areas of guidance, self-control, self-esteem, sexuality, and spirituality, but these pressing issues facing teens will more aptly be accepted by the teen if mutual trust and acceptance have been earned and established.

The Need

This generation can be trusted and they need to be shown that they are intrinsically valuable to God, the Church, and their community.

There exists in Rock County, Wisconsin an urgent need to declare, explain and prove the love of God and of the Community to a generation of young people. They need caring adult intervention in their immediate situation. These groups: Home, Church, and Community should love, strengthen and protect young people. We stand in the gap between the youth and the local church, presenting a dynamic and positive alternative to this anxious generation—a Non-Toxic Alternative!

  1. [1] Caldwell, Emily. “Ohio State University study for Science Daily.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150309123954.htm (accessed 4/18/22), See also, Time Magazine: https://time.com/3737574/suicide-urban-rural/ (accessed 3/20/22), New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/health/small-towns-face-rising-suicide-rates.html (accessed 3/20/22)
  2. [2] Center for Disease Control. “Annual Report Preliminary Wisconsin 2019 YRBS Results (High School Version) https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/sspw/pdf/YRBS_2019_Summary_Report_DPI_Web_Version.pdf (accessed 4/20/2022).
  3. [3] Aria Bendix, https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/guns-leading-cause-death-children-teens-rcna25443?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma&s=07&fbclid=IwAR3SIz09Rz4qHn8_OraWI5NnWKXLdFtWsuZX5xcVtYuZJ7rRC3QA4Pre4v8 (accessed 4/22/22).