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Otto Bremer Trust awards $30,000 grant to TheShop

TheShop, Brainerd Baxter Youth Center's youth-defined space, was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust.

The funding will help TheShop provide support and guidance to transitional age youths (age 14-21)—youths who live in poverty, are at risk for not completing their education, have been involved with juvenile justice, or may be homeless in the community they grew up in.

Through programs and collaborations designed to empower hidden talents, TheShop offers skills to help close opportunity gaps and knowledge to offset achievement gaps often found within the culture of poverty.

"We help youth define who they want to be and mentor soft skills necessary for their success as they journey towards adulthood," stated Cindy Moore, The Brainerd Baxter Youth Center director, in a news release.

TheShop is centrally located one block from downtown Brainerd on the corner of North Eighth and Washington streets. It is open 3-9 p.m. evenings and weekends. TheShop offers programs such as Above The Influence, Bicycle Recycle Project, Service to Community, SxTalks and TarTop Gardens. Special event nights encompass art, popcorn/movies, gaming, music venues, or backyard barbeques to build a sense of community within the culture of youths in the community.

"For youth with or without shelter we are a safe space to be positively recognized and welcomed, a space to build relationships with caring adults and establish personal connections, a space where 'loitering' will forever remain a welcome activity," Moore said.

For more information visit TheShop in person at 723 Washington St. or at its website at www.theshopbrainerd.org.

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