Do you know what your teenager is going to be involved with this summer?  Are you afraid of what your teenager will be involved with as soon as he/she leaves school?   

When I was a kid, we played outside from morning until night.  Basketball, punchball, arts and crafts, Tompkinsville pool, Goodhue pool, hanging out in the woods at the end of our block, being tortured by the boys who found snakes in the woods at the end of our block.  Our parents never had to worry (too much!) what we were doing.  First of all, there was always the voice of conscience in the back of our minds whether we knew it or not.  My Dad was a police detective so I suspected he had eyes everywhere; we had to stay safe and not get into trouble. 

Today, it is a different world.  I acknowledge this and do fear for our children and especially our teens.  However, activities abound on Staten Island and around the City that will build character and help them make the right choices for a wonderful vacation. 

Following are some ideas for you, as a parent or guardian, to help your teenager stay on the right path. 

The Youth Police Academy 2014, a six week program that will hold sessions five days a week, is sponsored by the Police Department of the City of New York, Community Affairs Bureau. This is a great program for City residents, attending school, between the ages of 10 and 16.  The Youth Police Academy will provide lunch and uniform shirts.  The goals of the Academy are: 

1.  To enhance responsible citizenship

2.  To provide positive interaction with police officers and to educate young people about the challenges and responsibility of police work

3.  To encourage young people to take part in other youth programs offered by the Police Department such as the Law Enforcement Explorers, Police Cadet Corps and the Police Athletic League.  

The Academy will begin Monday, July 7th and end on Friday, August 15th.  For information, see following link.


Richmond University Medical Center has several volunteer opportunities in various departments.  Volunteers will be able to participate in simulated hands-on care, assist with fundraisers, drives and health fairs and explore the behind the scenes work involved in running a hospital.  For information, call 718-818-2212 or 

The Fire and Emergency Services Exploring Program is open to high school and GED students between the ages of 14 and 20.  It allows teens to gain insight and firsthand experience into fire and emergency services and directly interact with local fire fighters and emergency medical technicians.  Contact 

It is not hard to have an imagination when you, the teenager, are looking for something to do.  Read a book, mow the lawn, help your neighbor to weed her garden (hint, hint!), wash Mom’s car, power wash the deck, write your life story (it is never too late to start writing), learn how to cook/bake, tutor a neighbor child in reading, math, history.  The list is endless.






If you have ever read my blogs, you know one of my favorite activities is volunteering.  There are numerous web sites where a teenager can get ideas on how to make a difference.  Also, as the teen begins to prepare a resume in the future, the years of volunteering and giving back will impress any employer.  Check out the following:

Let me know what other activities your teenager is doing this summer.  Write me below or at or call me at 646-258-9696.

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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