Starke County Youth Club Embraces Opportunities


The Starke County Youth Club has been teaching life skills to local youngsters for the past 15 years, according to Executive Director Irene Szakonyi.

“Kids today deserve our respect and our time, but they have to be given the opportunity to learn the right choice for them and to learn the consequences if they don’t make the right choice. Having that network and that structure gives kids practice at being good people. Continue reading

Starke County Youth Club Provides Structure, Teaches Accountability


The after-school programs offered by the Starke County Youth Club at sites around the county provide homework help, hands-on learning and more to participants. Program director Melissa Smith says it keeps youngsters who would otherwise be home alone until a parent or other caregiver arrives a structured setting in which they can avoid getting into mischief. Continue reading

Starke County Youth Club Receives Gift from Golden Living Center

Golden Living Check PresentationThe Starke County Youth Club can continue its efforts to provide quality after school programs to local students thanks to a local business. The nonprofit recently received a $1,000 award from the Golden Living Center Community Support Initiative. SCYC Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says the organization has been delighted to perform service learning projects in partnership with Golden Living Center. She says their gift means quality activities like learning to invest in community can continue at Club. Continue reading

Starke County Youth Club Receives Generous Donation from 1st Source Bank

1st Source Banking Manger Judy Caudill assisting SCYC members

The 1st Source Corporation, the parent company of 1st Source Bank is the largest locally controlled financial institution headquartered in the northern Indiana-southwestern Michigan area and has assets of $5.01 billion. For more than a century, 1st Source has been committed to the success of the communities it serves. Continue reading

Starke County Youth Club Honors IU Health Starke Hospital

radiothonIU Health Starke Hospital’s investment in the youth of the community has earned them recognition from the Starke County Youth Club. Executive Director Irene Szakonyi presented IU Health Starke Hospital President Craig Felty the Aim High Award in recognition of the hospital’s top pledge of $5,000 during the recent radiothon. The daylong fundraiser on WKVI raised $41,000 for the club. It provides after school and summer enrichment programs for students from Knox, North Judson-San Pierre and Oregon-Davis schools at sites throughout the county. Continue reading

Starke County Youth Club Summer Enrichment Focuses on STEM


Youngsters who take part in this year’s Starke County Youth Club summer enrichment programs will get to put lessons in science, technology, engineering and math skills to use. Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says they provide critical thinking skills.

“They need to be able to problem solve in order to be successful, healthy adults. They need to be able to attack a problem, design a solution and not get intimidated if the solution doesn’t work. They need to have some grit to them that enables you to keep going. When at first you don’t succeed, they try and try again and finally succeed. That’s amazing,” Szakonyi said. Continue reading

Starke County Youth Club Programs Help Bridge Achievement Gap


The Starke County Youth Club’s after-school programs help bridge the achievement gap for students. Executive director Irene Szakonyi says that’s disparity in performance levels among groups of youngsters. Research indicates children who come from low-income homes don’t perform as well on standardized tests as their more affluent classmates, nor do they get as good of grades. Szakonyi says 60 percent of children served come from low-income homes and start kindergarten behind their peers as a result. Continue reading

Starke County Youth Club Programs Benefit Children and Parents


The Starke County Youth Club’s after-school programs offered at sites around the county benefit more than just the students who take part in them. Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says they serve as a bridge between school and home for youngsters, for whom the most critical hours of the day are between 3 and 6 p.m. School is out, but parents aren’t home from work yet. Szakonyi says that’s the most common time for a child to be the victim of or the perpetrator of a violent crime. Continue reading

Starke County Youth Club Radiothon Set for Friday


Mark your calendars, and get your checkbooks ready. The 8th Annual Starke County Youth Club Radiothon on WKVI will take place this Friday. Executive Director Irene Szakonyi  says the organization has been serving youngsters with after-school, summer and recreational programs since 2001.

“It really is a wide variety of activities and projects to meet kids where they are, keep them learning, support working families and build community,” Szakonyi said. Continue reading

SCYC Among Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation Grant Recipients

StarkeCounty First Lady's FoundationA nonproift organization dedicated to serving youngsters in Starke County is the recipient of funds from the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation. Starke County Youth Club Executive Director Irene Szakonyi and Melissa Smith accepted the honor during a Tuesday reception at the Governor’s residence.

The Starke County Youth Club is one of those organizations that is doing great work for our Hoosier children and families, and it is an honor to recognize them today,” First Lady Karen Pence said. Continue reading

Pay it Forward on Giving Tuesday


Get into the spirit of the holiday season tomorrow with Giving Tuesday. Starke County Youth Club Executive Director Irene Szakonyi says the local nonprofit has joined the movement.

“It really does inspire people to take action for their local community to give, whether it’s giving a gift of money, of time, of making a donation of another sort,”Szarconyi  said. “We really want to encourage and join what is now actually a global movement to give on Giving Tuesday, which is Dec. 2nd.” Continue reading

Starke County Chamber Hands Out “Above and Beyond Awards”

Starke-County-Chamber-of-Commerce. LogoThe Starke County Chamber of Commerce recently recognized community contributors with their inaugural “Above and Beyond Business Awards.” They will be given annually to businesses or organizations that do something special, like add a new program or go out of their way to support Starke County.

The SCILL Center was recognized for their high school auto tech and welding programs and adult welding program, all of which give Starke County residents training for lifelong employment opportunities.

The Starke County Youth Club was also honored with a plaque. Their after school, summer and basketball programs serve more than 600 Starke County youngsters annually and provide social and leadership skills as well as help with academics and test scores. Recently the SCYC added middle school programs at Knox and North Judson-San Pierre. Continue reading