Teen Connection provides young people with opportunities for growth and development


Founded as an extension of our Weed and Seed Out-of-School-Time program, the Teen Connection program offers FREE after-school and summer programming for middle school and high school youth in grades 6-12.

Our educational and recreational programming is organized around five program areas:

  • Fitness and outdoor recreation — Provide opportunities to move and exercise through team sports, cooperative games and outdoor adventure activities.
  • Education and Technology — Support students in their educational goals through homework help, nutrition education, and introduction to computers, games, and technology.
  • Service and civic engagement — Engage adolescents in service opportunities that benefit their community; helping young people find and use their voice through community involvement and leadership promotion.
  • Prevention and life skills — Facilitate educational teen talks and presentations with guest speakers to promote prevention, teach life skills, and develop communication skills and healthy social behaviors.
  • Arts & Culture — Integrate arts, music and cultural programs to encourage new experiences through multiple media forms and understanding through exposure to different cultural perspectives.
Teen Connection participants explore the natural beauty of New Mexico at White Sands National Monument.


The City of Las Cruces Department of Parks and Recreation’s Teen Connection program will begin enrollment after school on Monday, July 11. The program is free. Places are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The start date for the program is Wednesday, July 20, 2022. The program takes place at the Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center, 304 W. Bell Ave. Register online at https://www.las-cruces.org/31/Play (click on the online registration link), or visit the following locations during regular business hours:

  • Parks and Recreation Administration Office, 1501 E. Hadley Ave., Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center, 304 W. Bell Ave., Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • A. Fielder Memorial Safe Haven, 906 N. Tornillo St., Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
By giving back, Teen Connection participants have partnered with Keep Las Cruces Beautiful city clean-up.

Program hours will be Monday through Friday, 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and will follow the LCPS schedule, with a few special events for teens. Notice will be given so that participants can prepare in advance. Programming will include homework help, meals provided in partnership with FYI, recreation, arts activities, guest speakers, and age-appropriate enrichment opportunities in a safe and supportive environment.

Transportation to the Teen Connection program will be provided from the following locations:

  • Colleges: Sierra, Zia, Picacho and Vista
  • High Schools: Las Cruces, Mayfield Centennial, Arrowhead
Participants in Teen Connection gain exposure to theater and the arts through musical exploration and demonstration.

The Teen Connection provides multiple opportunities for teens to participate in various community service projects throughout the year. Volunteering for these projects helps teens learn skills needed for the job market, such as leadership, communication skills, reliability, time management and decision-making. Teens who volunteer do better in school and build stronger resumes for college and scholarship applications. These benefits align directly with the Success Partnership’s newly launched Kinder-Career Coalition, which aims to elevate and support the work this community is already doing to improve education outcomes and identify areas of overlap and opportunities for collaboration. .

For more information, call the Department of Parks and Recreation at 575-541-2550 or Teen Connection at 575-528-4235 or visit us online at https://www.las-cruces.org/178/Parks -Break.

Michael Cichuniec is the Recreation Services Supervisor for the City of Las Cruces Department of Parks and Recreation.

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