Center of Life:
Connecting Students, Families, and the Hazelwood Community
Center of Life (CoL), a youth and community-empowerment agency in Hazelwood, serves approximately 500 young people - from ages 5 to 18 - annually. Its core programs focus on the arts and education, using various types of dance, recording engineering, and visual art to convey positive messages and teach life skills to young people. CoL provides academic assistance, encourages parents to participate so they can support their children’s schoolwork, and employs a licensed social worker to provide tools and strategies to move families from surviving to thriving.
CoL’s students flourish academically and transition successfully from high school to the wider world. Ninety to 100 percent of seniors graduate annually and either enroll in post-secondary education or join the military. CoL facilitates the Greater Hazelwood Community Collaborative (GHCC), building relationships among the new Hazelwood Green, existing community organizations, and residents. As a result, Uber employees lead robotics programs for children, and Carnegie Mellon University doctoral students teach young people to examine social issues using engineering and scientific methods. A Foundation grant of $300,000 will help CoL continue its youth, family engagement, and community empowerment programs - providing year-round jazz, hip-hop, and dance performance programs that incorporate African-American history and explore the intersection of technology and art. The funding also will support a full-time community engagement liaison for GHCC, who will connect Hazelwood Green and the broader Hazelwood community and ensure mutual understanding between Hazelwood Green tenants and the community-at-large.