One-N-Ten hosts grand opening for new youth center

Harley Juliano, 20, front, swings in suspended chairs with Miranda Murray, 20, in the one.n.ten lobby. Juliano runs a YouTube channel named ‘gay 24 hours.’ (Anya Magnuson/DD)

Harley Juliano, 20, left, swings in suspended chairs with Miranda Murray, 20, in the one.n.ten lobby. Murray is finishing up the last credits of her high school degree at Q High, a one.n.ten and Arizona Virtual Academy partnership that allows LGBTQ youth to get their high school diplomas. (Anya Magnuson/DD)

Workers put finishing touches on the new one.n.ten youth center at 1101 N. Central Ave., off Portland Ave. and First Street. The organization's old building burned down in July, and one.n.ten held a 'sneak peak' of the grand opening of their new location on Tuesday, Sept. 19. (Anya Magnuson/DD)

Arizona State Representative Lela Alston poses for a photo in front of artwork and a LGBTQ pride flag at one.n.ten youth center on Tuesday, Sept. 19. Alston has worked as a teacher and has emphasized the protection of LGBTQ youth in her 2016 endorsement of a senate bill to stop excluding homosexuality in school sex-education programs. (Anya Magnuson/DD)

Community members finger-paint colorful leaves onto "Sources of Strength" tree painting.(Summer Sorg/DD)

17-year-old Juno Baier performs "House of Gold" by 21 pilots at the Sept. 20, 2017 opening event of one.n.ten's new headquarters. (Summer Sorg/DD)

Program director Kado Stewart, holds microphone to instruments as youth performers present an original spoken word poem, written for the Sept. 20, 2017 one.n.ten grand opening event. (Summer Sorg/DD)

16-year-old Joe Allen, right, and Christy Moore play a game of foosball against Christy's husband, Mitch Moore. Mitch and Christy adopted Joe last month through AASK, or Aid to Adoption of Special Kids. (Anya Magnuson/DD)

The new lobby of one.n.ten features artwork, hanging chairs, a kitchen, televisions and a small stage. The organization's old building burned down in July, and one.n.ten held a 'sneak peak' of the grand opening of their new location on Tuesday, Sept. 19. (Anya Magnuson/DD)

Drawings on flags in the LGBTQ pride colors hang from the ceiling of one.n.ten's new home. These flags were one of the few things the youth center they were able to salvage from their old center, which burned down in July. (Anya Magnuson/DD)

Travis Shumake, development director for one.n.ten, talks at the center's Sept. 20, 2017 grand opening event about the architectural and technological developments of the program's new center. (Summer Sorg/DD)

The One-N-Ten Youth Center celebrated its grand opening in their new location at 1101 N. Central Ave. Wednesday, after the previous location was destroyed in a fire last year.

The new center is 5,000 square feet, approximately twice the size of the previous location.  It features a music room, classroom space, newly donated technology and hammock chairs that hang from the ceiling. One-N-Ten supports LGBTQ+ youth, offering programs and resources.

“We are able to serve more youth with more resources in a more convenient location here,” Linda Elliott, executive director of One-N-Ten said.

Travis Shumake, development director of One-N-Ten, said six computers which were lost to the fire have been replaced with 24 brand new laptops donated by community members. Twelve guitars, eight pianos and two drum sets were also donated, contributing to the center’s new music room.

While community members toured the new space they were able to participate in activities like planting succulents in the youth center’s terrarium, taking photos at the photo booth and playing instruments in the music room.

Prayer flags from the original center hung in the center of the room. Kado Stewart, programs director at One-N-Ten, said the flags were one of the only items they were able to save from their previous youth center after the fire.

“Those are really important to us, because we’ve spent the past six years going on trips out in the wilderness, putting our dreams and our hopes and our aspirations onto those flags and hanging them at the highest part of our camp,” Stewart said. The fact that they were untouched “just speaks volumes, energetically, for what our young people mean to our space.”

The event also featured several performances by youth in the program who shared their stories about the impact One-N-Ten has had on them.

“Without One-N-Ten I would not be the person I am today,” youth program member Juno Baier said. “I would not be as proud. I would not be as confident. I would not be here today.”

Baier played the ukulele and performed a cover of the song “House of Gold” by Twenty One Pilots and afterward, they spoke about the impact of the program.

“I think it has changed the lives of hundreds and thousands of queer kids in Arizona and I don’t think it’s stopping anytime soon,” Baier said.

Another youth performer, KJ Williams, performed a spoken word poetry piece to music.

In her poem she said, “Together we are the root of this cause.  A cause that does not dismiss our neighbor but rather one that fights in their favor.” Her favorite line was the last: “We are here, we are queer and we are not going anywhere.”

Williams said that she thought the new location was more central and easily accessible, especially to the homeless youth in the area.

“Having it in Parson’s Center, as a whole, really helps validate how big the community really is,” Williams said.

Contact the reporter at smsorg@asu.edu.