For nearly 25 years, Cornerstone Community Ministries has offered a safe, fun space for local youth and teens to gather. Today, Cornerstone Youth Center is a “hidden gem” in Elizabethtown according to Executive Director, Laurie Shepler. It’s home to a versatile, indoor space for kids to burn-off energy after school, get help with homework, and hang out with friends. It’s also the site of Elizabethtown’s only skatepark.
Creating a Fun, Safe Space for Youth
The end of the academic day is when Cornerstone Youth Center comes alive. Kids from all walks of life pile into the Cornerstone van, or walk the few blocks to the youth center. Open until 6 pm most days, the youth center is a quality after-school program disguised as a fun, caring place to gather with friends.
Cornerstone Youth Center is a faith-based organization that welcomes all. Alongside the opportunity to join the center’s TWIG (Time with God) Gathering, students can join or form other clubs, and choose from a number of structured and unstructured activities. The center always offers snacks and hot food items served at their Cafe.
Elizabethtown’s Only Skatepark
“Most folks don’t know that Elizabethtown offers a free, public indoor skatepark,” Shepler said. It’s open Monday through Friday for students in grades 7 through 12. And on Sundays, skateboarders of all ages can use the space.
The skatepark is how Shepler got involved in Cornerstone Youth Center. She came to watch her husband skate on Sunday and felt pulled to get involved. She jokes now that the Youth Center has become a family affair since she is the Executive Director and her husband, Jim, coordinates the skatepark.
Making a Difference in Kids’ Lives
As a 501c3 nonprofit, Cornerstone Youth Center is supported by community donations and some grant funding. The community’s support through donations and volunteering means everything for many of the kids who enjoy the center. “There’s a lot of pain that comes through our doors here,” Shepler said. “I really believe there are some kids who come here because Cornerstone is safer than home.”
Getting the word out about Cornerstone has been one enduring reason Shepler likes being involved with the Elizabethtown Area Chamber of Commerce. With a small paid staff, access to resources at the Chamber helps Shepler connect with other business and community leaders.
“We’re here, we’re welcoming, and we look forward to continuing to grow and positively impact the lives of children throughout the Elizabethtown area,” said Shepler.
We are proud to have Cornerstone Community Ministries as a member of our Chamber. To learn more about their Youth Center and its mission, visit them at cornerstoneetown.org.
To learn more about the benefits of an Elizabethtown Area Chamber of Commerce membership or to join, contact the Chamber today.