North Iowa Youth Center celebrates 21 years

What started out with only 14 kids in 1998, the center has now served over 7,000 children through its history

Posted: Jul 8, 2019 12:16 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - A Mason City institution has reached a milestone, and they're celebrating it the right way by inviting the public.

Since its start on July 7, 1998, the North Iowa Youth Center has seen many kids come and go, about 7,000 to be exact during their 21-year history. But their mission remains the same today: changing one child at a time.

Kristina Stange and her sister started coming to the center when they were kids. Even with Kristina having some intellectual disabilities, the center welcomed her in immediately.

"My good friend's mom was a member, and she told my mom that 'maybe Kristina should go here every time now.'"

Her mom Tina has some positive words about the leader of the center, Regan Banks.

"He influences the kids, he's a mentor, he does a lot in our community, and I really appreciate it."

She's also run into alumni of the center that now have kids of their own that come to the center regularly. For those who may not be familiar with the North Iowa Youth Center, she encourages parents and kids to check it out.

"Just bring the kids in. You couldn't invest more time in a good place. For those that have been through here, come in to volunteer. They can always use volunteers, there's always things going on, and pay back."

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