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Girl empowerment: Ophelia's Place prepares to open new space in Albany

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Ophilia's Place
Girls show off their fort building skills at Ophelia's Place drop-in program in Junction City. The Albany location will open in late May.

The prevention-based nonprofit Ophelia’s Place is dedicated to empowering girls. They have physical locations in Eugene and Junction City and soon, the organization will open a new space in Albany.

Come late May, girls ages 10 to 18 will have a colorful new place downtown-- to meet friends, explore new interests and connect with adult mentors.

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Ophelia's Place
Soon, girls ages 10 to 18 will have a colorful new Ophelia's Place in downtown Albany-- to meet friends and connect with adult mentors.

Communications Director Teri Conklin said Ophelia’s Place is no stranger to Albany. “We’ve actually been serving girls through the Greater Albany School District since about 2018, with girl empowerment groups, in-school therapy and some other programming. And now we’re going to be able to offer after school programming and activities in our own little space. We’re real excited.”

Conklin said they’ve added walls in the 1,750 square foot space at 4th and Lyons Street, creating a kitchen and separate rooms for private therapy. She added they’re painting with a palate of purples, greens and “comfy” blue.

Teri Conklin
Ophelia's Place
Renovations are currently underway on the new Ophelia's Place building located at 4th and Lyons Street in Albany.

Before they paused for COVID-19, Ophelia’s Place served about 200 youth per month. OP currently provides limited in-person services and virtual programming. Adults are supported too through parent activities, and professional development training for youth-serving providers.

The Albany space will be staffed with an after-school program coordinator, therapists, and Oregon State University and Linn Benton Community College interns. There are job postings on the Ophelia’s Place website.

Conklin said all youth activities will be free or available on a sliding scale.

Ophelia’s Place was founded in 2005 by Rosaria Haugland, a retired biochemist and co-founder of a Eugene biotechnology company. Her vision was “to provide intervention at an early point in a girl’s life to give her an opportunity to develop supportive relationships and strengths that will lead to her long-term well-being.”

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.