THE DEPOT YOUTH CENTER

Youth Programs

OUR AWARD-WINNING PROGRAMS

The Depot offers many programs and opportunities for Darien’s youth, helping them to build a foundation of confidence and a skill set to make healthy choices for life!  New in 2019, four programs launched targeting middle school ages and covering topics such as social resposibility, forgiveness, empathy, self-esteem, destructive decisions and inclusiveness. All Depot clubs and programs are monitored by vetted staff and the Program Director. 

Youth Program Series: Depot-sponsored youth activities are created and managed by Darien youth. Participating students are charged with planning, marketing, and fundraising to support their programs, as well as working with mentors, local business owners, and town officials as necessary. Our programs are for Darien residents, whether public, private, or homeschooled and often partner with community organizations and agencies.

High School Offerings

The Darien Depot is pleased to offer programs, events and activities throughout the year for Darien students entering 9th through 12th grades whether they attend public, private, or homeschool programs. Click on a program to learn more.

High School Programs

 Click on any High School program offering to learn more.

High School Events & Activities

The Depot Youth Center offers a variety of events and activities throughout the year for 9th-12th grade students in a judgement-free and safe environment. All public, private, or homeschooled teens are invited to attend.

Events and activities include:

  • 3×3 Basketball Tournaments
  • Band Nights
  • Depot Diner run by SLOD
  • Galentine’s Day
  • Movie Nights
  • Munch-a-thon
  • Open Mic Night
  • Pancake Breakfasts
  • “Teen Talk” Educational Discussions
  • 9th & 10th Grade Dances
  • Gingerbread Decorating
  • Depot Spring/Fall Clean-up

High School Philanthropy

Youth at The Depot organize fundraisers to support specific causes they identify as important. Fundraisers include car washes, commuter breakfasts, and the Holiday Wrap Up.  Also, in the past, the following organizations have received funds and gifts-in-kind from Depot youth fundraisers: 

  • Person-to-Person
  • Darien Human Services
  • Wreaths Across America
  • Helping Hands (a food pantry at Christ Community Church)

 

Many town organizations source enthusiastic and supportive youth volunteers through The Depot. They include:

  • Darien Youth Commission
  • Darien Chamber of Commerce
  • Darien Public Schools
  • Darien Safe Rides

 

Please visit the Depot’s calendar to find upcoming events happening this month.

Student governing board

The Student Governing Board (SGB) is made up of 60 students and overseen by The Depot Program Director, Janice Marzano and Assistant Program Director, John Miceli. Members range in grades 9-12th, and meet Tuesday evenings with some exceptions.  They are responsible for day-to-day programming, creating and enforcing the rules of conduct, youth fundraising, and on-going participation in commmunity outreach. Applications are due to Janice Marzano May10th for the upcoming year. 

Applying to the STUDENT GOVERNING BOARD:

Applicants must be Darien residents attending any school or homeschooled entering grades 9-12th in the upcoming academic year. Applications for the Student Governing Board are due May 10th for the upcoming academic year.

Nine Darien students serve an academic year on the Student Governing Executive Board. The Student Governing Board elects the Executive Board at the last meeting of April for the upcoming academic year following Robert’s Rule of Order.

Middle School Offerings

As well as for high schoolers, The Depot Youth Center offers a variety of events and activities throughout the year for 6th-8th grade students, whether they attend public, private, or homeschool programs.

Middle School Programs

The Depot offers a variety of programs for Darien Middle School students.  Click on a program to learn more.

Middle School Events & Activities

The Depot offers a variety of events and activities throughout the year for Darien students entering 6th through 8th grades whether they attend public, private, or homeschool programs.

Events and activities include:

  • 6th Grade Ice Cream Social
  • Friday Night Friends
  • Pre-TOPS Mistletoe Magic
  • Pre-Tops Valentine’s Dance with Depot teens
  • Quiz Bowl

Please visit The Depot’s calendar to find upcoming events happening this month.

SPEAKERS & EDUCATION

The Depot brings in many local and national speakers with a focus primarily on mental health awareness. Many topics are implemented by the students themselves as they see the need arise. Speakers visit The Depot teen programs (“Teen Talk!”) once a month, during specific meetings. Some topics include: Gender Identity, Depression, Anxiety & Stress Awareness, Screen Addiction, Eating Disorders, Consent, Puberty, Bystander Intervention, Dangers of Substance/Alcohol Abuse and more. All high school-aged teens are welcome to attend these speaker events. Educational programming is also held for parents and families and hosted through a collaborative effort with The Thriving Youth Task Force.  Subscribe to our newsletter or visit our Calendar to see upcoming speaking engagements.

 

*Across multiple national surveys and studies from the past five years in the United States, there is evidence that many kids are in crisis and the percentages below are increasing:

%

10th-12th Graders who agree “I often feel left out/lonely”

%

Teens who spend 3+ hours a day on electronics and are 35% more likely to have a risk factor for suicide

%

DHS students who do not finish college in four years

%

Teens who say anxiety or depression is a major problem

*2019 US News Best High School Rankings, Dr. Dan Brenner, Dr. Jean Twenge;  Atlantic Magazine  September 2017; Pew Research Center, February 20, 2018.

AS A COMMUNITY:

We must continue to evolve with the needs of our youth and provide critical programming and education in wellness to foster healthy coping skills and empower our kids with knowledge, resiliency and confidence.

 The Depot holds education programming for parents and families through a collaborative effort with  The Thriving Youth Task Force. This collaboration aims to recruit award-winning, coveted speakers from around the county, state and country. Recent topics include: What About Weed, Haze, TEDx Mental Health Speaker, Emily Torchiana (depression/suicide/anxiety) and Youth in High Achieving Schools; Maximizing Resilience with Dr. Suniya Luthar.

  • YWCA Parent Awareness 
  • The Community Fund of Darien 
  • Communities4Action
  • Darien Human Services
  • Darien Police Department
  • Darien Youth Commission
  • Darien Library 

  • Darien YMCA 
  • Liberation Programs
  • Life Solutions
  • Silver Hill Hospital 
  • Darien Domestic Abuse Council
  • Darien Chamber of Commerce
  • Darien Public School Parent Associations and more

Please visit our calendar to see what speakers and educational events are happening soon.

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