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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

First Glance Student Center, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Christianity, Community Service Clubs, Religion, Youth Development Programs

Mission: First Glance is a student center for junior and senior high school students in Kenmore . It primarily operates as a youth center with basketball, skateboarding, internet, video games, food and more, providing the students a place to go.  It keeps these students off the street. In addition we have a teen moms program, an abstinence program, skate night and more.  This facility enables us to meet and build relationships with students who may not normally come to a church.  Through these relationships, we have the opportunity to tell students about Christ and get them involved in a local church.In addition we teach students life skills.  We work with the community and have the students volunteer.  Also through other special events we teach students about money management, the importance of education, and serving. Mission Statement: We exist to connect students and their communities to Christ and the Church through real, loving and non-threatening avenues.

Programs: Recreational programs first glances recreational programs include rec night and skate night. These programs give students a safe environment where they can participate in recreational activities and hang out with both their friends and adult mentors. Rec nights average 130 students ranging in age from 12-19 and include activities such as basketball, dodge ball, dancing, card games and more. Skate nights are for students who are specifically interested in skateboarding. First glance hosts the only indoor skate park in the area and gives students the opportunity to practice new tricks, repair skate equipment and build ramps alongside volunteer mentors. The program averages 26 students per week.

moms programs the teen moms program of first glance student center has grown considerably in its seven years of existence. Currently, it has been expanded to include young moms, young dads and tiny glancers. Moms are continually instructed in basic life and parenting skills such as finances, cooking, sewing and physical and emotional care of their children. Additionally, the tiny glancers, the children of these young mothers, are being prepared for kindergarten and a lifetime of learning. Incentives are offered for participation, with earned baby dollars. The moms are able to purchase needed baby/child items from our boutique and take their children on educational trips, which would be unavailable to them otherwise. Both the teen and young moms programs average 25 students per week.

mentor programs all of first glances programs focus on building relationships between students and adult mentors. The student leader program averaging 15 students is a co-ed program that specifically deals with students who are seeking to be leaders and role models among their peers or who have been identified as those with that potential. Ladies night out averaging 25 students weekly provides an opportunity for middle and high school girls to deal with the very real relationship struggles that accompany their age. Man up averaging 12 students weekly focuses on encouraging middle and high school boys to become men of character. Young adults averaging 30 students is for those students who exceed the age limit of other programs.

Community Stories

263 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with First Glance for alittle over 6months. Prior to First Glance I volunteered with other innercity organizations. I have to say that First Glance is like no other organization. I appreciate the staff's heart for these students. They love then no matter how rough or bad they can be. First Glance has truely changed so many students lives.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Project Shine, a work project in Kenmore, OH, for the past two summers. This summer, I had the privilege to oversee a crew made up of primarily teens from First Glance. These kids were working hard and helping the elderly in their community by fixing up their homes, and loving them through conversation and prayer. Most of these kids hadn't done this type of work before, and chose to take time, a full week, out of their summer vacations, to help those in need. To me, this is great example of opportunities brought to kids through First Glance. The teens were exposed to a different side of their community and were able to experience the fruits of service. Since that time, I have talked with multiple First Glance workers and volunteers. Their heart for the kids in their community is breathtaking. They have passion not only to care for the teens by giving them a safe place to 'hang out' and learn, but they also genuinely love them and work tirelessly to equip them for today and the future. First Glance is a place that strives to meet the needs of the community, and works towards refining the full potential of each teen that comes through the doors. I am humbled to know of such a place.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 4

First Glance is changing an entire community one person at a time. Through creating many small niche communities led by enthusiastic staff, First Glance gets involved in students and leaders lives giving them hope, love and acceptance.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i have had alot of fun here.i play my guitar here almost every thursday here. my band performed here a few weeks ago. and i always have fun

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

i think this is the best teen club ever and i always have fun here i hang out with my friends and it is really fun u can have lots of fun here u can skateboard here play a wii and a xbox360.

12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been coming to firstglance since i was 12 now i am 17 years old im about to be 18. Firstglance is a great place to come to, to come hangout with freinds and relax and have snacks, and especially pizza.I remember the first time i was here they had the old side is was so cool the first time i came it was so cool, and i have came since, And i remeber when they got the other part they were closed awhile, and they were rebuilding it. ad when the first time they reopened i was so happy, And when they let us in i was suprised what they did, Firstglance is a cool place and i use to be a student leader but now i am not, But i still come to firstglance because it is so cool, and i aint got much more time to come here.

12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I absolutly love first glance!! its an amazing place where you can go to be yourself. everyone is welcome which is wonderful and no one here will judge you. this is such a great place and i look forward to coming here every week!:)

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is my home away from place to go...It is so fun. I would invite everyone to come if i could. I have been coming here since i was in the 7th grade and it is awesome...

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i have fun and i get to see all of my friends....and my girl friend.then i see alot of other people.that i would like to get to know.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first went to First Glance in September of 2007, and from then ive been there usually every week since then to hang out with friends and play guitar.

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

it's a fun place to hang with freinds and neighbore there is skate night there is game systems and there food pop and candy and IT'S CHEAP!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

it is fun and i like playin pool and playin video games and playin basket ball and hangin out with my froends

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

first glance is amazing i love it .. its a fung outgoing place for young adults to just have fun ...

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First Glance is awesome. There is so much to do. You always have fun. They have the best activities ever. I've been here almost a year and I have so many memories here already. I love it.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have never actually been in the building of First Glance to witness everything that goes on. But, I hear positive weekly stories about how helpful this organization is to the female teens I mentor. I also see pictures and hear updates about this program through volunteers that attend the same church that I do. From everything I hear and see, First Glance is a positive Christian experience for everyone involved.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In many communities, youth have only the streets to turn to. In Kenmore, First Glance is keeping youth out of the streets with various activities and programs and provides an equally nurturing experience for its volunteers. Skateboarding, youth fellowship groups, teen moms group, and friday night open house have given opportunities for the youth of Kenmore to stay active and receive guidance. Through volunteering, I have seen how just a couple hours a week can provide guidance to the youth of Kenmore who might bound for trouble or just need some attention. It is more than just standing around as a chaperone; it's talking to kids, playing billiards with them, and giving them an escape from their everyday routine. You may not see the changes in their life immediately, but over time you can see the impact this experience has made on their lives. First Glance is a great program for everyone involved!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

"I wish there had been something like First Glance when I was growing up" is a phrase I have often heard since I started volunteering for this organization five years ago. From former troubled teens to FG leaders to visitors attending our Open Houses, all seem to agree that this faith-based student center is making a positive difference in the lives of Kenmore/Akron teens. I like to think of First Glance as a place of "second chances". A second chance to be loved and appreciated by caring leaders when family and friends have not been so loving. A second chance to be loved and accepted when a teen has made poor choices. A second chance to have a FG leader listen to a student's ideas and dreams when no one else seems to have the time. A second chance for encouragement and advice from a compassionate leader when life has not been going so well. A second chance to hang out and just have fun with FG leaders and other students when life seems to be filled with so many problems. Urban teens from various racial backgrounds come together during the week for various programs such as skateboarding, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (encouraging abstinence and self respect), Teen Moms and two nights of general hang out time. It is with these programs that First Glance Leaders build relationships with these teens and model Christ's love to them. Once a month there is Second Look (our version of church), again, a second chance for students to attend a church service who would not normally attend any mainstream church. With our Student Leader Program, First Glance also gives a "second chance" to those students who show leadership skills but may not be given a chance to develop these skills at school. It is exciting that some of our former students desire to be First Glance leaders. For all the above reasons and even more, I think First Glance is the best of the best. God has truly blessed this organization.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just started helping out at First Glance and it is an amazing program! I love going each week and getting to know and become involved in these kids lives!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization for local youth in the Akron / Kenmore area. They provide a place for teens to go to hang out free of charge on Friday nights and it helps keep the kids from doing things they shouldn't be doing and at the sametime gives them a positive influence. Many of the kids around the area I think call the place church because it is Christ centered.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First Glance is an amazing organization. Reaching out to kids/youth in a community that severely needs it, they show love and are great examples to kids who would otherwise maybe never see what that looks like. The amount of sacrifice, volunteering, and love given freely to kids through this organization is amazing. And seeing how some of the kids respond and even eventually become leaders/helpers with First Glance themselves in and of itself says a lot about the effectiveness of this organization. This group is all about letting kids come just as they are, never pressuring them or trying to trick them into being something they are not, yet gently guiding them through genuine love and attention to develop themselves and grow. I was not sure what to expect when I planned on visiting First Glance for the first time, and I was pleasantly surprised and continue to be excited at what they have already done, are doing, and will accomplish in the future.

10

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked at First Glance as a volunteer to help with work projects and also once on their Friday Night programming for their kids. They do an incredible job of reaching out to the kids and just "being there" for them. They don't preach to them, but live alongside them as mentors for kids who often do not have a positive role model. They have skateboarding, Wii game systems, and much more! A great place for kids to go in a safe environment! While they do have bible studies, that is on a different day of the week. They just love on the kids! I recommend them for this reward because they care so much for the kids - when not many people really do in many cases!

10

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have served either on the board or as a volunteer leader for the past 6 years. Great opportunity to see lives of young people changed for the better over that time. Some of the greatest, kindest, most passionate people I know are involved in this ministry. I love what this ministry stands for.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 4

What can I say about First Glance? Well I'll start by simply saying I love it, a weekly chance to interact with local kids and to instill in them some positive sense of direction and identity; what more could you ask for on a weeknight? How about a chance to play pool or Wii? How about a weekly meeting for teen mothers? How about a night dedicated to skating? How about a monthly meeting that's kinda like church but not quite? I guess I could ask for all those, and first glance has 'em!

11

Board Member

Rating: 5

First Glance is an amazing place. In a day when we have "throw away" youth and a death culture, First Glance is making a difference. They are meeting a need that the local churches cannot because they meet the youth when they are. The "difference" that is made in one life at a time will be measured in eternity.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

the volunteers at first glance are amazing! they are fully committed to the kids who attend and provide a positive and safe environment for kids to build relationships and stay off the streets. they provide a wonderful service to the people of kenmore and the surrounding areas!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First Glance is an amazing ministry that seeks to reach a segment of the population that many view in a negative light- teens. This organization has it all- a group to help teen moms better themselves and thus their children, a program to build girls' self-esteem, activity times when teens came come and hang out, eat, play pool, get on the computer, etc. The volunteers who work with the teens love them unconditionally and try to provide them with a caring, consistent role-model. Most important of all, though, First Glance seeks to get kids connected with local churches to help better meet their spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. I love being involved in the lives of teens and seeing them each week is a highlight for me!

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youth Thrive Award This organization has greatly impacted the Kenmore community. The teenagers are finding adults that accept them and love them unconditionally. I have been involved in this community for over 50 years and am seeing lives changed because of First Glance. These teens need acceptance and love, with direction from adults who care for them. I know the teens will learn how to make better choices in their lives as a result of being involved in First Glance.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

It's often said "ACTION speaks louder than words". And, if you want action, First Glance is the place to be. As a former resident of Kenmore, FG is a lifetime dream & prayer of my mother. Great place, great staff, great volunteers, great fun leads to changed lives!! FG is making an impact in Kenmore!!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This organization is based where I grew up and has had an unbelievable impact on the surrounding community. I love the casual atmosphere that allows hundreds of students to feel comfortable enough to show up and just hang out for a few hours. The offerings within the building are top notch, from high definition plasma TV's with xbox and wii games, to a computer center with free internet access. There is also a great area for skateboarding, basketball, and hackey-sack. Really a nice holistic approach to trying to improve the lives of a group of young people that may not have access to all the cool things offered here.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first heard about First Glance from my daughter. She was helping out on Thursday nights. After listening to her stories of the young lives that were changed and some that were, “a work in progress”. I decided to check it out. First Glance is doing a wonderful thing for the kids in their community. They are changes lives of young people not being reached by traditional institutions (Churches/Government Programs). Before you can change a life. You need to make a connection with the individual involved. First Glance does that.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a long time financial supporter of First Glance and I can honestly say I can't think of a better place for my money. To hear the stories of lives being changed in Kenmore is amazing to me. The impact First Glance has on these teens and the community in general is like that of the apostles when they set out to share the good news. It's so encouraging to me to be a part of this organizatoin and to know that we are impacting lives for the Kingdom of God.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

First Glance is an amazing organization that helps keep kids off of the streets and give them opportunities to be mentored in a safe and nonthreatening environment.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been going to First Glance for almost three years and every year First Glance leaders has never turned their backs towards me. The leaders helped me so much when I moved down here. I didn't know anyone and they always had their ears opened to talk about anything. They help all the kids that goes there and tries to help everyone. First Glance is all about saftey. They wasnt everyone to be safe and out of danger.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

My sister and her husband are active leaders at first glance. I have seen first hand how dedicated and compassionate the people that donate their time really are. They offer a facility and a group of people that is second to none.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Prayers answered! My mother-in- law, Grandma Benn, lived in Kenmore for 50 years and always envisioned a "center" for the youth. She was very troubled that they had a senior center but nothing for her "Kenmore Kids." It time, her prayers were answered through the vision of Noelle Beck. Noelle and her husband Tim had the heart, faith and conviction that God would do an amazing work in Kenmore. Their vision and passion has ignited an entire community. Where there seemed to be no hope for the young people, they have been given hope as volunteers have joined this effort by loving the "Kenmore Kids."

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I work with all the people from first glance they make it fun. They are always there to offer support. They always make me feel welcome and like part of the family.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I'm a volunteer at First Glance and I think it is a great place for students to come and hang out. It keeps them out of trouble by giving them something to do on Thursday and Friday nights. They can hang out, play WII or Playstation, play basketball or pool, or even skateboard. It is a place where kids can come and be accepted and loved in a healthy way. The volunteers are really good role models for the students. Some of the students we meet don't have good role models in their lives. I got married last year and I invited a few of the teenaged girls that I had met at First Glance to be a part of my wedding by passing out programs. One girl had never been to a wedding so this was an exciting time for her. The girls really enjoyed being being a part of my wedding day.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had a great experience with First Glance. I love how the students can come here so many nights out of the week, that it is right by their high school/middle school, and that they know that they can come and hang out in a safe environment.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I volunteered at First Glance for a few years when I was in high school and college and had a blast getting to know the students and hanging out with the leaders. First Glance is truly making a difference in the lives of the people it comes into contact with!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Helped with a christmas project with the Teen Moms. Enjoyed seeing the interaction between the young moms and their leaders.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great organization for the youth in the community. Teen Moms, Dads, skateboarding and basketball is a safe environment and an alternative to the lives these teens have led.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The leaders have such wonderful hearts and dedication. They are making a difference in young people's lives--no doubt! I am amazed at some of the cool projects and experiences they offer the kids.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been great to see First glance grow from meeting in the small amount of space in the community center to owning a large multi-level space. The larger space has provided the students with a place to get off the streets and call their own. This has happened because of the faith of the leadership and great volunteer base. It's awesome to hear the excitement students in the community have for First Glance.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

I am blessed to read the E-mails and letters regarding the students and how many of them are helped and encouraged by this ministry. I am glad to be able to be one of the donors for this ministry. Tim and Noelle are the very best leaders. The students respect and look up to them. Our family has been to many of the open houses, and Tim and Noelle have been in our home.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got involved with First Glance thru volunteering on a construction project. While painting one Saturday, a student turned to me and said, "You need to become a leader so you can change people's lives like they have changed mine." When a 17 year girl says that you; you have no choice but to do just that, become a leader. It is so apparent that these students lives are changing because of the First Glance. The fruits of what God is doing in Kenmore thru First Glance we might never see the whole picture, but I know when I volunteer, I am changed. First Glance is the Youth Thrive award, because it is doing just that making students thrive in an culture and environment that working so hard against them.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great place for the local area teens to hang. A great group of support staff too. A clean fun location for students outside their home environment.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I think First Glance is probably the best thing to happen to the Kenmore area. For years the kids had nothing to do and continually got into trouble. Since it's inception, the kids have had a warm, loving place to go where they are totally accepted for who they are. The leaders are not there to babysit, but to mentor. It's a bridge between the kids and the local churches...a great set-up!

4

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

First Glance is a wonderful place for students in the Kenmore community to come as they are and be loved by leaders. The leaders give so much of themselves to show the love Christ has for each one of the students.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with First Glance since the night they first opened. It is, over nine years later, still one of the things I most look forward to every week. The leadership of First Glance is passionate about teens and the community of Kenmore. What an outstanding organization to be involved with!

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I love First Glance! They have a heart to serve the students and families in Kenmore through demonstrating the love of God in very practical and hands-on ways, reaching students where they are, and not just where they want them to be.This includes building an indoor skate park for them, providing clothes, counseling and baby supplies to pregnant teens, running a stop-having-sex club, and providing a safe environment with solid boundaries for students to hang out at. First Glance is also a great place to serve, helping others to reach out to a community that they wouldn't normally be around and helping others to feel a bit of God's heart for the "least of these"

4

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a part of First Glance for 4 years now.And I admire the vision we have for the students.Which is to connect the students to Christ and the church through a loving non-threatining enviroment. And no matter what happens at First Glance the students always come first, in all the decisions that are made.It is sometimes easy to lose focus on our purpose but the staff does a wonderful job on keep leaders in focus on what it is we do.I have been blessed with opportunities to do things for some students that there parents can't or just won't do. Like help learn how to drive a car, take them to a park, or even support them in a school activity they are a part of. And to walk in on a friday night and have a dozen or so young walk up to me and shake my hand or give me a high five is an awesome feeling since I older than alot of their parents are.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been my privilege to volunteer as a leader with First Glance for the past two years. This is an organization filled with people who are passionate about serving students. It's a dynamic atmosphere where we as leaders build relationships with students and are then able to truly meet the needs in their lives. What a great opportunity to impact the lives of these kids and teach them values and integrity that starts with a personal relationship with Christ.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been blessed to see First Glance grow from the very beginning. I came on as a leader when there were about 6 of us total and maybe 25 kids. Now there are well over 30 leaders and always over 100 students on a given night. It's been amazing to see this organization grow and really see the students take ownership of it. The building meets many areas of the students lives and most have had a part in building/decorating it. A lot of these students even come on as leaders once they graduate and help with the younger students. This organization strives to give teenagers a safe, non-threatening environment to hang out in. First Glance is a place where students can be themselves, while staying off the streets. I am so thankful to have been a part of it all these years and can't wait to see what the future holds.

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a community organizer for other service organizations in the Kenmore community I have had the joy of working with First Glance students and volunteers since its inception nine years ago. It has been wonderful watching the organization grow and to see the benefit reaped by the students and the entire community. First Glance exemplifies what a nonprofit should be. It is unsurpased in the quality of its volunteers and its committment to the youth in this community. They have found creative ways to reach out and to postively influence the students. I feel blessed that I have recently been able to take a more active role in helping First Glance grow.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer leader at First Glance now for almost three years. In that time I have been able to witness the great changes that take place in the lives of students due to the dedication of the people at First Glance. My life has also been impacted by the joy of serving God in my community and being able to take part in such positive changes in these kids.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just got involved this Summer volunteering at First Glance. It is a place kids can feel safe, let down their guard and enjoy being a kid. I like the way they give the kids freedom to be themselves, express themselves - yet know how to draw the line and give them the love of Christ. Its a great place to be a part of.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization. In the middle of a city in which teens are often faced with opportunities to be involved in crime, First Glance gives them other (good) choices. The staff teaches them - what to do to stay out of trouble, how to care for babies born to teen moms, why it's a good idea to abstain from sex, God and giving back to the community. Kudos to FG!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First Glance meets a need in so many lives of children. Teen moms not only reaches the teens but their babies. It is awesome to see the close relationships the young people have with the leaders. It is a great program with great people.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First Glance is a place where kids can come & just be themselves and feel safe even if it is just for a couple hours a week. Each of the adults involved in this group truly care about the kids & want to help them better their lives. I am blessed to be a small part of this each week.

12

Donor

Rating: 5

First Glance is run by a stellar group of folks that really care about the people that they're in community with. Noelle and Tim, and the leadership team that they've assembled, model what it means to live into people and not just do things for them. They're heart, vision, and passion are all exemplary.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First Glance helps students in the community stay out of trouble and provides positive role-models in their life. Tons of students show up every week and love the environment. Please consider First Glance for the Youth Achieve Award

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I can't think of any other organization that should be honored with the Youth Thrive Award. First Glance is more than a building or program for teens...it is a family. A family that provides support in times of crises. A family that seeks to build one another up in love. A family that is empowering and equipping the next generation of leaders within our world. Thank you First Glance for the change you are making in Kenmore, and its surrounding communities.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

First Glance is grassroots, approachable and makes a difference through genuine relationships. Kids lives are changed! They are a blessing in thier community - Kenmore.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First Glance is the most effective urban youth ministry in the Akron area. It is a model that should be adopted and incorporated in other Ohio cities, and around the country.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

first glance is making a difference in the lives of kenmore teens. in fact, it is making such a diference in many kenmore teens that everyone some of these kids will ever interact with will be impacted. the first glance leaders and volunteers love these teens and the teens can tell. overtime, these same teens allow that same love to flow from them to others, and therefore first glance is impacting the world, one student at a time. first glance should be considered for the youth achive award.