How It All Began
The vision for The Wave Youth Center in our community began about six years ago with Molly Schroeder following a funeral for a young girl whose life was lost to substance abuse. This tragedy was an eye-opening event for her as many youth that are often “invisible” in the community attended the funeral.
Big Lake is a community in which nearly 50% of the households have children under the age of 19 living in them which is 12-15% higher than the national average, making this a pressing issue for our community. For the past five years, Molly has been researching to help further identify the needs of the youth in the Big Lake community. Her passion for both the youth and community drew others into her work, and together they learned that there was a concern, and a need, for a place to go where teens could interact with both adults and peers to receive support, and encouragement while also building relationships and a greater sense of community.
An advisory board was formed, and further research took place in the community, youth organizations sites were visited, as well as hosting a community forum. Following visits to other youth centers and researching traits of successful, life-impacting youth centers, we began the process of forming a nonprofit, which is now complete, we are a 501 (c) 3 organization, The Wave Youth Center.
Our vision for The Wave Youth Center is a safe and welcoming place. We provide inclusive, innovative, and sustainable programs working to positively impact individuals and the Big Lake community. Through reciprocal partnerships with the community, our goal is to meet the needs of the body, mind, and spirit of the youth in our community.
Youth and volunteers can already be seen making an impact and involved in the community through events and activities such as Spudfest, Music In The Park, and the Big Lake Block Party.
We are now moving into fundraising activity as we have two potential locations to open The Wave Youth Center.