Behind the massive gym at the Gold Crown Field House in Lakewood is a program trying to change lives.
"A lot of people don't realize that this program is back here," Chris Darby, coordinator, said.
Darby works with students during and after school in the Enrichment Program of the Gold Crown Foundation. For decades, Gold Crown has supported athletics like basketball and volleyball with its facilities.
"We have the tools and technologies that they don't usually have at home," Darby said.
Fran Baker is the Enrichment program executive director. She says Gold Crown wanted to meet the needs of the community by providing technology and other resources to at-risk kids.
"Most of our kids are living in poverty," Baker said. "We found that our programming gives them a creative outlet and a way to express themselves without a lot of judgment."
10-year-old Jaylin Watson-Mendez like to come to the program to create illustrations.
"I thought it was pretty fun since I don't have a laptop at my house and I draw a lot of laptops," Jaylin said.
The idea, Darby says, is to level the playing the field between those who have resources and those who do not.
"We have the computer. We have the laser cutters. We have like art supplies," Darby said. "One moment they're sewing. Maybe the next moment, they're trying to make drones."
Darby is not just a coordinator. He used to come here as a teen.
"He was making stickers and had a skate board company that he wanted to start," Baker said.
Now, Darby has created his own clothing line and got a college degree that he initially never planned for.
"They encouraged me to get a college education," Darby said. "They helped me through my college career."
The Gold Crown Enrichment Program has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a group called the Clubhouse Network and now Best Buy to continue their programs. Best Buy has made this program an official Teen Tech Center, one of 20 that Best Buy wants to set up by 2020 across the nation.
If you want to find out more about the nonprofit program offered free to students, click here: http://www.goldcrownenrichment.org/
"We really try to find where the need is and we do it and that is fulfilling right there," Baker said.