New youth resource center in the Philippines will serve thousands of impoverished teens

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Brittany Gelbach
Public Relations Manager
(816) 943-3832
bgelbach@children.org

Kansas City, MO (May 16, 2017) Ron Neal, president of Houston Energy, and Dr. Mary Neal, an obstetrician-gynecologist at the Woman’s Hospital of Texas, have funded Children International’s newest youth resource center in the Philippines, providing life-changing benefits to thousands of teens in poverty.

The Sr. Jane Meyer, O.P. Youth Resource Center, named after the Neals’ dear friend, Sister Jane Meyer, Head of School at St. Agnes Academy, is a two-story building featuring a career training center, library, computer lab, spaces for youth programs and a multipurpose room. The center will serve about 2,000 impoverished teens.

Children International’s newest youth resource center in the Philippines.

Children International has opened a new youth resource center in the Philippines, which will connect teens with programs and services that can help them break the cycle of poverty. | Download image

Children International has more than 70 community centers worldwide, which provide safe spaces for kids to learn, develop life-changing skills and play. The organization’s youth resource centers provide programs and services specifically targeted to teens to help them navigate the challenges of adolescence. For youth in poverty, this means the opportunity to participate in transformational leadership development and educational and job-preparedness programs. With these centers, not only are the youth equipped with critical skills, but they also have access to positive role models so they can avoid gangs, drugs, alcohol and other negative influences, which are common, especially among youth living in poverty.

Teens participate in a career workshop.

Teens participate in a career workshop at Children International’s new youth resource center in the Philippines. | Download image

Dr. Neal said, “Ron and I are committed to supporting Children International in their efforts to give impoverished youth an opportunity to achieve productive and successful lives. Our friend, Sister Jane Meyer, has been an inspiration to us as an educator and champion for social justice. In her nearly 50-year career as a secondary school educator and head of school, she has helped all her students strive to reach their full potential, breaking down many obstacles and barriers. She deeply cares about the poor and sees education as the avenue to success. Children International’s community center programs help their youth to hurdle the obstacles in their lives by developing skills for future gainful employment in a safe and nurturing environment.”

A group of teens uses the computer lab.

A group of teens uses the computer lab at the new Children International youth resource center to get connected to career readiness tools. | Download image

The Neals are a generous and inspiring couple. In addition to this youth center, they have helped fund two community centers in Honduras and have sponsored several children over the years.

“We are so grateful for Ron and Mary’s longtime support and their dedication to helping children in poverty,” said Susana Eshleman, Children International’s president and chief executive officer. “By funding this youth resource center in the Philippines, they are providing teens with a safe, dignifying space and life-changing programs that will empower them to be positive agents of change in their community, achieve their dreams and break the cycle of poverty.”

A youth does a practice interview.

Learning and practicing interview skills is one important area of training to make sure CI youth are prepared to find employment. | Download image

Learn more about Children International’s community centers.

Learn more about Children International’s work in the Philippines.

About Children International
Children International is a leader in the movement to eradicate poverty. From toddler to young adulthood, we surround kids with a caring team, a safe place and a clear path out of poverty through programs focused on health, education, empowerment and employment. Our supporters are inspired as they see children radically change their lives and create a ripple effect that impacts their families and communities for generations to come.