May 2017 Around Town

“I would like to express my appreciation for the gifts of joy you presented to my daughter for Christmas. I am so very thankful. Although I am working, this year has been a struggle. I was worried because I really am not able to do much for her, but thanks to you, I am able to make her day. She will be overjoyed with gifts that have been given to her. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This has been an outstanding time for both of us. We love you!”

You is the West End Center for Youth. For over 35 years the West End Center for has opened its doors and hearts to the inner-city youth of Roanoke. Since 1979, the West End Center has been determined to make a difference by aiding students in graduating from high school, attaining job skills and becoming contributing members of the community.

The West End Center focuses on academic skills; children participate in literacy, tutoring and STEM—science, technology, engineering and math. The dedicated staff continually tracks the outcomes and reviews the actual benefits of the program.

Last year, 81 percent of West End Center students passed Virginia standards of learning tests for math and 80 percent passed language arts. Ninety-nine percent of children passed to the next grade level.

What makes The West End Center so unique and strong is its long-standing connection to the community. Through many community partnerships, children have the opportunity to participate in activities including biking, pottery, swimming, gardening, tennis, soccer and yoga.

These partnerships are invaluable to the center’s success in enabling children to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle with the skills to maintain lifelong health. Partners include Family Service of Roanoke Valley, the YMCA, the Roanoke Community Garden Association, the USTA, Roanoke College, Hollins University, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Gainsboro Library, Mill Mountain Theater, LEAP and the Roanoke City Police. They volunteer over 400 hours of their time in tutoring each year.

Each year the West End Center serves 200 children who live in many of Roanoke’s disadvantaged neighborhoods. The goal of the program is to equip children with the developmental assets they need to become productive, responsible adults. To accomplish this goal, West End Center offers a comprehensive program.

Each of these successful young people is a testament to the ability of this grassroots, community-based program, working in partnership with loyal supporters to make a difference in the lives of young people.

For more information about The West End Center, please visit or call 540.342.0902.