U.Va. Teen Health Center Awarded Service Grant

April 30, 2009 — Giving teenagers a safe and caring environment where they can speak frankly and be themselves makes a huge difference in the successful growth and development of young people.

This is why the Breathing Space program operated by the Teen Health Center at the University of Virginia Children's Hospital has been awarded a $10,000 service award grant from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation.

Breathing Space is an initiative focused on the prevention of risky behaviors, early treatment of personal health concerns and improving family communication. The program is available to financially disadvantaged teenagers in need of health care services or who have a health concern. Teens are seen by health care professionals and can receive counseling and an examination. A crucial component of Breathing Space is its emphasis on helping teens communicate about health needs with a parent.

Each year the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation presents its Citizenship Award to one senior from each local high school who has demonstrated active participation in community service, leadership and academic excellence. The students are then invited to serve on the Youth Service Award Committee for the upcoming school year. The committee selects an organization that best serves the needs of youth in the local community for the service award grant.

"We feel that the money going to this program will make the most difference in our community because it serves our peers and encourages family interaction," said Brea Thomas, a Youth Service Award Committee participant.