KILLEEN, TX — The IMpossible Paradigm Shifters Teen Center is officially open to kids in Killeen!
Founder and creator Vantonio Fraley says forming a teen center has been a dream of his for almost a decade. The idea stemmed from a lack of resources and mentorship for youth in Killeen.
This is a day Fraley says did not come without a fight. The pandemic slowed down most of his fundraising efforts, forcing him to push back his grand opening.
But despite not having everything exactly how he wants it, Fraley has decided to open his doors to the teens who need this place now more than ever.
“Why is the crime rate among our teens so high? Why are you our kids going into the world so unprepared? Let’s stop talking about the change, because the change is here,” said Fraley.
For as long as he can remember, Fraley says north Killeen has been underdeveloped, with not much to get into but trouble.
“When you have a down part of any city, it doesn’t flourish," said the teen center creator.
“We know how the crime rate is and the other things that teens like to do. We just want to keep them off the streets. It’s in his heart, so he’s very dedicated to it. He really wants to make this change for the community, but especially for the teens,” said volunteer and friend Ashanti Grummond.
With the community behind him, Fraley hopes The IMpossiable Paradigm Shifters Teen Center will be a place for youth to pursue their dreams to the fullest extent.
“Now we have a place where kids that usually don’t have opportunities have opportunity of growing their mindset, growing life skills to actually go into the world thinking things are possible. It gives them a chance to feel just as important as anyone else. My story will be long forgotten, but hopefully the teen will still be affected and their kids will be affected. To me, it’s more about that than my story,” said Fraley
Even though this is the grand opening, there is still so much work that needs to be done.
Fraley says he has gotten this far thanks to friends, family and of course the community, but he’s inviting everyone personally to come down and see what this teen center has to offer to the community.
Since it's Christmas break, the teen center will be open next week from 1 p.m to 9 p.m. It's located at 402 South Second Street in Killeen.