Adjacent crepe cafe, coffee and snack shop will help pay the youth center’s bills

    While one anticipated home-base “youth center” location for the new Crookston Youth Foundation didn’t pan out, efforts are underway to secure another location, and an announcement could be forthcoming soon.

    That’s the word from Don Rasicot, the school resource officer for the Crookston School District that’s helping to lead the CYF, which was announced in late February.

    Currently, Rasicot and other CYF leaders are detailing their plans in presentations to various service clubs and other organizations. In those talks, the CYF is described in a PowerPoint as a “community-based organization focused on enlisting all sectors of our community in helping youth achieve social and economic self-sufficiency, and fulfill their potential as viable contributing members of the community. We’re aiming to provide free-time activities for youth outside of school, organized sports and other school-sponsored extracurricular activities, and to interact with community leaders and businesses to promote local employment opportunities to develop a future workforce and to increase retention of Crookston youth.”

    The fact that the CYF even exists can be traced to an initial donation from Crookston’s Tom Amiot. Initially, his identity was being kept under wraps, but the CYF leadership has since identified him. Amiot, Rasicot previously told the Times, wanted to contribute to something that would have a lasting positive impact on Crookston’s youth and the community as a whole, and the CYF is the result of that.

    Amiot is on the CYF’s inaugural board of directors, along with Rasicot, Angel Weasner, Nate Lubarski, Shannon Stassen, Jerry Persson, Chris Trostad, Amanda Lien, and Tim Denney. A board comprised entirely of youth will also be established soon that will plan, create, input their ideas, help make decisions, and make the CYF “their own.”

    If the CYF was a stool, it would be supported by three legs that focus on:

    • A youth center “focal point”
    • Mentoring/networking, education and career development
    • The “seed” in the form of financial support

    The overarching vision is “a community in which youth and young adults successfully navigate and negotiate their living, as well as their personal and professional relationships, and they excel in the workplace and engage in community involvement.”

    Goals of the CYF and its youth center include

    • Safe and substance free
    • Social activities and education
    • Career skills
    • Life skills
    • Build a network
    • Skill development

    It’s anticipated that once the CYF youth center is identified and operational, it will be located adjacent to a crepe cafe, coffee and snack shop, the proceeds from which will go toward the youth center’s operating costs. The cafe/shop’s tentative name is The Seed.

    The center concept at this point could include a virtual reality room, wifi, computers and printers, large flat-screen TV, CAD software and printer, game area, pool table(s), table tennis, foosball, dart board and pinball, casual corner hangout areas, chalkboard wall, wall display area, snack kitchen, restroom, large meeting room, medium meeting room/craft room, and small meeting room.

    The Crookston Youth Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit. In addition to welcoming volunteer assistance, expertise and resources, Rasicot said fundraising is ongoing and donations of any size are always welcome. Anyone interested in assisting in any way or making a contribution can email Amiot or Rasicot at contact@crookstonyouthfoundation.org. You can also learn more at crookstonyouthfoundation.org or by calling 218 210-2600.