NEO is empowering youth and contributing to a healthier community

NEO is a local non-profit that strives to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices through music, art, recreation, and skill development. NEO was co-founded in 2008 by two Nevada County teens who saw the need to provide positive opportunities for youth in our community. NEO’s youth center, which opened in 2015, offers free after-school drop-in hours for middle school, high school, and college-aged youth. The center features numerous activities, which include a stage with over 15 musical instruments, ping pong, pool, football, sports, crafts, and more. Youth who attend the center engage in a variety of enriching and empowering activities, including life skills workshops, yoga, resume writing, concerts, and video game design.
The youth center boasts nearly 500 members and welcomes an average of 30 to 45 young people each day. NEO focuses on providing positive mentorship and support for the attendees through its team of interns who help staff the program. Devin W. said, regarding his own experience at NEO, “I never felt like I had a place or a reason to get out of bed until I came to NEO. I was really depressed. Now, coming here, I’m laughing, I have that reason.” NEO also prides itself on its youth-led model, as their youth leadership teams help to guide and implement all aspects of their programs. In addition to the youth center, NEO does outreach at nine area schools and hosts teen sections at community events like the Nevada County Fair.
Throughout August and September, BriarPatch Co-op Cause program will help to provide healthy snacks for NEO’s programs. When young people arrive at the Youth Center they are often famished. Many of their families are struggling to make ends meet, so they often go underfed or face unhealthy food options at home. NEO wants to inspire health and wellness for all young people who participate in its programs. Research shows that the prevalence of obesity is significantly lower among youth who regularly attend quality after-school programs, and providing healthy a nutritious snacks is an important part of that. By rounding up our purchases to the nearest dollar, together we can all make this a reality.
Feel free to drop by the NEO Youth Center to see it for yourself.
Learn more at or by calling 530-470-3869.


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