New Redding youth development facility opens Saturday

Photo from inside the mentoring building during its construction

REDDING, Calif. - A three-year vision comes to fruition Saturday when the new youth development facility Catalyst Mentoring Center holds its grand opening in Redding.

Final preparations are being completed in the 12,000 square foot building located on Industrial Way off Churn Creek Road, a part of the Stirring Church.

Catalyst Mentoring Director Aaron Hayes said that this is a big investment, but is worth it.

"I think one of the best parts of this story has been our community really rallying to see the Catalyst Center get built," Hayes said. "The Stirring's invested over one million dollars into the vision, and there have been many businessmen, not just businessmen, but families and people, who want to see a positive center in our city for our youth."

United Way of Northern California President and CEO Larry Olmstead said a place like Catalyst is much needed for that positive adult influence every kid needs.

"What we have found is that the mentoring piece, the ability to match young people with caring, positive adult role models, is a critical piece," Olmstead said. "My first impression, youth mentoring, is that really important to family financial stability? The answer is it sure is. It sure is now, and more importantly, it is as these young people advance in life, and build their own families."

Hayes said that there are 6,000 children living in poverty in Shasta County and if they don't have a healthy adult in their life they could turn to the wrong role models.

"When a mentor shows up in a kid's life, it foundationally changes the trajectory of that kid's life, and that's what we want in our community," Hayes said. "We want our kids to be in a community where they have people that believe in them, so they can have a brighter future, which makes our community have a brighter future."

The grand opening for Catalyst Center is Saturday, March 19, at 935 Industrial Way, from 9 a.m. to noon.

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