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The Creek

A Middle School Youth Center

We are a private 501 (c) (3) non-profit program founded in 2004 welcoming ALL youth in grades 6th through 8th.

Two Walnut Creek locations:

Our Mission

Creating a bridge between peers, family, community, and the school environment is important to the happiness, the health, and the success of middle school youth.

Why Middle School Care?

THE CREEK provides the opportunity for young people to grow in all areas of development: social, emotional, physical and cognitive. We believe that youth need quality programs that provide supportive learning activities, positive peer and adult interactions, activities that promote confidence and self esteem, as well as opportunities for community participation.
In response to a growing community concern, the first center for middle school youth opened in Walnut Creek in September 2005. Although our community does a wonderful job providing afterschool care for elementary school children there were no options in our area for middle school care. The need for middle school youth to have a safe place to be after school was vital. Research shows that children who are not under adult supervision from 3:00 – 6:00 PM are at an increased risk to be victims of crime or to participate in inappropriate activities. This is also an age when teens are more susceptible to developing disorders associated with stress, such as depression and eating disorders.
  • Helps keep youth safe
  • Better grades and conduct in school
  • Greater desire to help others
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Better decision-making skills
  • Increased opportunity to make friends
  • Higher achievement / motivation
  • Higher level of interaction and communication with adults
  • Decrease in criminal behaviors
  • Decrease in drug and alcohol use

Founding Directors

Tricia Carella and Donna Perham founded The Creek Middle School Youth Center in 2005 on Foothill Middle School Campus and opened a second site in 2008 at Walnut Creek Intermediate School. 

Tricia Carella


Tricia has a BA in Speech Pathology and Audiology with a Masters in Early Childhood Education. Over the years she has taught at a number of schools and was Director of a local preschool. Tricia has really enjoy working with middle school students and loves being part of the dynamic staff at The Creek. Tricia and her husband Lou have 3 adult daughters.

Donna Perham


Donna has a BS in Nursing and has worked in a variety of nursing fields throughout her career.  Donna has always enjoyed middle school students and in 1997 volunteered and implemented “Smart Start, a middle school program dealing with peer pressure, violence prevention and goal setting.  Donna also implemented a curriculum on depression awareness, signs and symptoms and resources for getting help, which she taught at Foothill Middle School.    Donna is married and has three grown children who all attended Foothill in the past.