Bill Cosby... Alex Rodriguez... Brad Pitt... Michael Jordan... President Clinton... Jackie Joyner-Kersee... Martin Sheen... Derek Jeter... Neil Diamond... Denzel Washington.
What do all of these people, and millions more throughout America, have in common? They are all alumni of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
While many Club alumni have achieved particular distinction in fields such as entertainment, business, politics and sports, the average alumnus is not famous. Most have achieved success by getting an education, raising a family, serving their country, pursuing a career or supporting the community.
Millions have benefited from belonging to a Boys & Girls Club since the first Club opened its doors in 1860. Based on research by Louis Harris & Associates, Club alumni have very strong feelings about their individual Club experiences:
It's a tough time to be a kid. There are pressures of peers, drugs, gangs, broken homes and overcrowding and the disadvantages circumstances of poor education, low income, unemployment, poor homes where love and attention are lacking. At the Boys & Girls Club, there is a place a child can go to get away. Away from those pressures and temptations. A place for some fun and companionship or just to hang out. And more often than not, once a child becomes a member, their life is positively changed forever.
The purpose is to help young people ages 6-18 improve their lives by building self-esteem and developing values and skills during their critical period of growth. Youth Services and programs provided focus on everything from education, social recreation, health and physical education, to leadership and citizenship development, cultural enrichment, and personal adjustment with one-on-one counseling. The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs is to assure and to enhance the quality of life for children as participating members of a diverse urban society.