NAPERVILLE, IL – The Alive Center non-profit in Naperville will launch it’s 2020 year-end fundraising campaign entitled: HOPE keeps us Alive; Believe in a Brighter Tomorrow on November 23. This campaign hopes to raise a total of $70,000 for the teen center with a big push on Giving Tuesday, December 1. All donations will help support Alive’s ongoing free teen programs and future locations.

Kandice Henning, CEO of the Alive Centers remains positive and says, “we are proud of the way in which Alive has remained committed to our mission this past year. In each of the ways we have responded to the challenges presented by COVID-19, we have put the teens first. We have adapted, pivoted and continued to serve teens and their families in every way we can. With the help of our community, we have connected teens with compassionate adults and their peers in a safe and socially distanced way. We have embraced our differences with a new Diversity & Inclusion committee. We have inspired new interests and passions, developed leaders and inspired community service; all of this despite being in the midst of a global pandemic. Our HOPE for the future keeps us believing in a brighter tomorrow!”

As COVID-19 continues to challenge all of us to lean into uncertainty, for young people in particular, staying hopeful and finding ways to cope with our ever-changing reality can be very challenging. Being a teenager is difficult no matter what, and teens are missing out on events with friends, hobbies, activities and the daily moments in school that foster resilience and growth. 

Teens like Nikita Jacob, 14, said, “I like that even though there are staff members, many of the activities are done by teens. We do activities and projects that teens are interested in. It also helps in interacting with others even during this pandemic.”

Grey Bauer, 13, who began coming to Alive this summer shared, “I love Alive because it’s a place you can be yourself and not worry about being judged. It’s also very LGBTQ+ accepting which is really nice. They have a lot of cool stuff that you can do like do art, play video games, and more! I’ve made some really good friends here. I’m happy this place is here for teens and a place to go and hang out! I’m very thankful for it.”

Alive’s Teen-led, Teen-DrivenTM peer mentoring model (TLTD) lifts up all teens, from every socio-economic level, religion, race and identity. Many of these teens are being raised by single parents or grandparents and approximately 60% are below the DuPage Median Family Income. Throughout this past year, Alive has provided the solution for isolation and anxiety for many by quickly adapting last Spring to offer free daily Drop-in hours via Zoom instead of in-person, providing programs like Makerspace Mondays, encouraging teens to use items around the house to learn about science and technology, or Fitness Fridays, providing healthy activities such as exercise charades and fitness bingo. As summer allowed Alive to re-open its doors, the community stepped up to sponsor socially distanced summer camps like Alive with P.R.I.D.E., Cathartic writing, and even a ‘Kick-it’ kickball camp. Teen-led programs like these not only offer healthy distractions and the chance to make new friends, but also the opportunity to foster leadership for our high school teens leaders.

Laurel Anderson, Naperville D203 Social Worker, stated, ”I am continually blown away by the quality and diversity of programs the Alive Center offers. It has been incredible to see how adaptive their staff has been during the pandemic. They have their pulse on what is fun and what teens want as well as which needs exist in our community.”

Due to the increased challenges brought on by COVID-19, community support and generosity are needed today more than ever. Alive is asking for the community’s support to ensure they may continue to serve the youth while keeping the Alive Center financially stable. Alive will continue to adapt and respond, working toward a brighter tomorrow by investing in our youth today.  

If you would like to learn more about Alive, please call 630.778.6093 or

You may support Alive’s work by donating through their website at