Mentoring Center makes big splash at CV Days |

Mentoring Center makes big splash at CV Days

Staff Reports
Moxy Up was named the winning youth float at last weekend's Carson Valley Days Parade.
Kurt Hildebrand

With the cry “You’re killing me Smalls,” new mentoring center Moxy Up took home the award for best youth entry in last weekend’s Carson Valley Days Parade.

The entry recreated the ballfield from “Sandlot,” jibing with the parade’s theme, Carson Valley Goes to the Movies.

Located at the corner of Highway 395 and 6th Street in Minden, the center is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Center Executive Director Coleen Lawrence said it offers teens and young adults a place to drop in, hang out, and get connected with mentors and services to help them thrive, own their futures, and direct or redirect their story.

According to its mission statement the center is a nonprofit organization which guides young people to grow and improve their working, living, educational and social skills as they deem important through positive mentoring and leadership practices

“Nevada has worked to improve the economic vitality of the state by decreasing unemployment rates, working on education, and diversifying our economy,” Lawrence said. “These benefits have caused an increased need for qualified employees with strong leadership skills. Moxy Up works with the teens and young adults to build leaders in our community through mentoring. Whether they are displaced, living at home, or starting out new, the goal is to assist them in finding success in education, employment, and life goals. Sometimes that goal is just having a positive place to be around.”

Inside, teens can find a stereo and records, a space to hang out and listen to music or chat with a friend. Another space offers bean bag chairs, a mini-foosball table, and a crib. A “Zen” room, fully padded and ready for yoga, invites meditation, reflection, and stretching. A teleconferencing room connects these teens and young adults to psychiatric services that can be difficult to secure on short notice in Carson Valley.

The basement houses a library of books requested by mentees and a variety of personal items for those who need them. The kitchen is well stocked with snacks, tea, coffee, and sugar-free drinks. The main room has seating for 20-plus and hosts peer group meetings several nights a week.

A 501(c)3 nonprofit, Moxy-Up has three aims: 1) to deliver a safe and welcoming environment for all who attend; 2) to provide opportunities for teens and young adults to challenge themselves and grow; and 3) to offer space, activities, and events that foster positive and healthy socialization.

The main room is available for peer or support group meetings, workshops on presentation skills, or appointments with prospects for those launching an independent business. All these groups are initiated by the attendees themselves who have asked to use the space or requested a specific type of group meeting.

Lawrence said they want services and opportunities to be driven by those who seek them, and is open to hosting groups who approach with a special interest.

Trained peers who have been through their own journey to healing lead the weekly National Alliance on Mental Illness Connections group, designed for those 18 and older.

An adult is present on the premises for all meetings, and all peer facilitators, and both adult allies and peer leaders, have received training and have passed an FBI background check. Independent groups may also use the space, such as the weekly group Narcotics Anonymous for Young Persons.

Currently in the works, Moxy Up Mixers will offer events that facilitate positive socialization through karaoke, concert, and movie nights.

Lawrence has a masters of science degree in strategic leadership and work experience designing large, complex systems for healthcare providers, brings a unique approach to this social services platform.

To learn more, visit, find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @MoxyUp.