Four local Rotary Clubs are proud to partner with Bright Futures for Youth (BFFY) to build what will be called the Rotary Café in the new NEO Youth Center. The Grass Valley, 49er Breakfast, Grass Valley South, and Nevada City Rotary Clubs each contributed $2,500.  District 5190 matched the $10,000 Club balance with a $12,500 grant plus almost $2,500 in District Bonus Dollar contributions for a total grant of $25,000 (with some rounding). 
 
In addition to the District Grant, Grass Valley Rotary contributed $15,000 in honor of late Club member Mike Johnson.  The Clubs presented a check representing the $40,000 donation to Executive Director Jennifer Singer and NEO Program Director Halli Ellis-Edwards at Grass Valley Rotary's regular meeting on Monday January 23, 2023. 
 
 
Bright Futures for Youth has begun construction on the new NEO Youth Center at its offices on Litton Hill in Grass Valley. The 3,700-square-foot NEO Youth Center will include a café, a game area, a music room, small stage and patio. The NEO Youth Center is scheduled to open in late summer 2023, following an extensive renovation of the space on the ground floor of the Litton Building at 200 Litton Drive. The well-known building is already home to BFFY’s three programs – The Friendship Club, NEO and SAFE.
 
The NEO Youth Center has been a dream in the works for a few years. Our Club will recall that a year ago, BFFY was pursuing an opportunity to locate the NEO Youth Center on McCourtney Road and we were working with 49er Breakfast Rotary on a District 5190 grant.  The grant was put on hold last Spring when the site fell through.
 
Mike Johnson was a long-time Grass Valley Rotarian and an active leader advocate for youth through District 5190 Rotary Youth Leadership Awakening (RYLA), Rotary Eighth Grade Leadership (REGL), and Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) programs in addition to his Club programs.  The NEO Youth Center is an impactful way for Grass Valley Rotary to commemorate Mike's service to the youth of our community.
 
Several hundred youth participate every year in NEO’s after-school programs, summer camps and weekend activities. The NEO Youth Center will provide expanded permanent space for after-school programs and life-skills classes, and occasional weekend activities for children and young adults. The NEO Youth Center – the first in Nevada County – will offer a long list of activities and events, from art workshops to live music and open-mic nights in a safe and supervised setting.
 
For more information on NEO visit https://bffyouth.org/neo/ and the NEO Youth Center project