Orlando Magic and Chase Unveil Refurbished New Image Youth Center
By Josh Cohen
June 7, 2017
ORLANDO – It’s imperative for children to have safe and rewarding places to go to after school. A positive and empowering environment has a major impact on the path kids take during their youth.
The New Image Youth Center (NIYC), which was founded in 2004, has helped strengthen and inspire many children in Parramore. So many kids that grew up utilizing the resources, technology and security of NIYC have excelled in the classroom and beyond.
With the help of the Orlando Magic and Chase, more kids will now have the resources, tools and encouragement to stay on a positive track.
To celebrate the NIYC’s 13th anniversary, the Magic and Chase teamed up to refurbish the center. The upgrades include new flooring, painted walls, eight new desktop computers, a laptop, bookcases, sofas, chairs and desks. The unveiling of the new-look, three-room facility occurred on Wednesday with 75 joyful students on hand to see the transformations up close.
“The refurbishments here are to bring life, a safe environment and a place where the children can come and know that they’re going to have positive reactions and positive influences,” Chase Executive Director Joseph Terry said. “To see the reaction on the kids’ faces makes it just an unbelievable experience to witness.”
This isn’t the first time the Magic have helped renovate and revitalize this center. In 2008, the Magic provided the first restoration to the NIYC. In addition to new plumbing, furniture and electronics, the Magic donated $10,000 that year for the center to purchase computer software, school supplies, educational games and books.
More recently in 2014 after the center was burglarized, the Magic came to the rescue and helped replace all the stolen items.
Dr. Shanta Barton-Stubbs, who founded this prominent and highly-respected community center, has seen first-hand how a facility with an abundance of resources and positive role models can steer children in the right direction. With continued support from the community and organizations like the Magic and Chase, the hope for this center is to expand on the services the NIYC offers.
“When they come in they know they are part of the family, we love them, we cherish them, we make them feel validated,” Barton-Stubbs said. “Many of our youth would not even have the opportunity to go to college if it was not for the New Image Youth Center. We’re expecting all our kids to be leaders and go into the new school year and strive to be the best they can be.”
The Magic and Chase have partnered several times before to enhance different community centers and elementary school basketball courts throughout Central Florida. This collaboration has had a huge impact on student performance in and out of the classroom.
“Our focus is education,” said Magic Director of Social Responsibility Malika Harrison. “We know how important that is to really create safe spaces, encourage children to learn, encourage them to reach for the stars. We know how important it is to make a difference in the communities where we live and work.”