Skip to Main Content Jump to Main Content
Building a Stronger Hazleton Community image
May 20, 2024
Building a Stronger Hazleton Community
Lightbox Image

We partnered with students and faculty from the Communication Arts Studio at the Hazleton Area Arts & Humanities Academy to build a portfolio of creative work to be featured on DiscoverNEPA.

Participating students worked with the DiscoverNEPA team to capture compelling videos and photos and to write articles featuring their school and community.

The Hazleton One Community Center

The Hazleton One Community Center, or The HIP Center, as most of us call it, is a vital place for the community, providing a range of programs and sports that benefit citizens of all ages. It’s warm and welcoming atmosphere provides many opportunities for social interaction. The staff add to the cozy environment with their enthusiastic and supportive personalities.



Some of the opportunities they provide are after school tutoring, helping children with their homework, projects, and offering after school lunch. They also grant citizenship classes that cover the essential skills required to be a U.S citizen to many people. It’s very important to the community as whole. “We teach GED classes, we teach ESL for adults, and of course, we have many education courses for children. The after-school program is from kindergarten through grade seven, we have 87 enrolled,” says Bob Curry, the founding president of Hazleton Integration Project.



Some of the sports played at the HIP Center are basketball and volleyball. The basketball aspect of this establishment is an immediate focus for most people. They separate the middle school students and the high-school students, which provides a competitive environment where fellow athletes push each other to compete at a friendly yet physical court. Young students from various grades and different athletic levels go to the HIP Center to hone their skills. Because of that, the players develop a deeper bond to one another — joining together children of different ages and backgrounds through the mutual love of basketball, creating a strong and loving melting pot in Hazleton. “This is a place for kids to be themselves,” says Danny, an overseer of the program.  “You’ve been coming here for quite some time, and you know how friendly everyone is here.”



This certainly shows the wonders the HIP Center has done for the community. So many people are excited to be a part of the community. “I love it here, love coming here… love the food and playing basketball I love playing with y’all too, the HIP Center definitely spiced my life up and made me more physically active,” says Steven Almonte, a local basketball player.



The HIP Center has a long and rich history in Hazleton. It was established in 2013, the center was initially created to provide a safe space for the community to gather and integrate the Hispanic community in Hazleton. “This had helped my family! We had often been tight on food and it’s just a relief to have this to lean on sometimes,” said Mia Luna.



There are many positives about the HIP Center and the negatives are practically nonexistent, life at the HIP Center is just amazing!

Donations and fundraising events help run the HIP Center and provide free and low-cost programs for the community. Bake sales, concerts, and art exhibitions are hosted at the HIP Center and end up funding, these events raise community awareness to many people in need and helps spread the word about the HIP Center.



The outreach of the HIP Center is crucial to its success the more people know about the more likely donations and fund raiser are to happen. That’s why YOU should come by the HIP Center!