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Belvedere resident launches new space for Marin’s teens

Sally Newson stands in the Karma Club at Northgate mall, a new afterschool space for teens 13-19 opened by the Belvedere resident’s nonprofit, Wellify Teen. (via Sally Newson)

Last year, Belvedere resident Sally Newson was speaking to a Marin Catholic High School class about Wellify4Teens, an app she created to promote teen mental health, when a group of students approached her at the end of the session.

“We met and they said, ‘There’s nowhere for us to go in Marin County after school. There’s just nothing,’” Newson recalls.

They followed that up with a question: “They said, ‘Can you build us a space?’”

Newson has since made that request a reality. On Aug. 23, backed by an initial $50,000 grant from the Fullerton Family Foundation to Newson’s nonprofit, Wellify Teen, she opened Karma Club. The new after-school community space in San Rafael’s Northgate mall gives Marin teens ages 13-19 a place to study, participate in art projects, play games, munch on free snacks and just be.

Karma Club also collaborates with nearly two dozen nonprofits to offer enrichment programs on a variety of topics, from crocheting and stress management to deconstructing gender stereotypes and self-care, and to help teens connect to resources offered throughout the county.

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