This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont is increasing its efforts to keep youth on a productive path.

It recently purchased a building at 502 Hickory Ridge Road in Greensboro.

It will be home to the organization’s first Mentoring and Central Service Center in Guilford County.

The basement area, which is still under construction, will serve as a hub for youth to connect with mentors and each other.

Although the organization is known for matching younger children with mentors, it’s putting a greater emphasis on teens.

The goal is to create an environment they look forward to enjoying – a timely focus considering ongoing concerns of community violence involving juveniles.

“We hear stories of a child in the family that they’ve been matched and how their life has changed versus a child who’s not been matched and how their life has changed too but maybe not as in a positive way, so we know it works,” Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont Vice President of Philanthropy Holly Ferree said.

Akaila Covington, 26, says the extra support from her Big Sister Wendy Rivers, who is president/CEO of the chapter, kept her focused.

“During that process, I wasn’t thinking about the negative because I knew I had my mom, I had Wendy, I had my brothers, I had Holly, I had all these people around to where you’re going to be somebody in life,” Covington said.

Now an adult, Covington works with children and sees the need for more places that can provide positive attention.

“It’s a tremendous amount of kids that are missing that importance of being heard, feeling welcomed, feeling wanted, and just feeling value,” she said.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont has received grant funding to purchase vans and provide transportation.

Staff plan to welcome youth at the facility in November starting with an outdoor movie night.