Page 1

Born to

BE GREAT Celebrating Our 2009-10 Youth of the Year Winners

winter 2009/10 connections

President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama Honorary Chairpersons RICK GOINGS Chairman Emeritus ROBBIE BACH Chairman of the Board ROXANNE SPILLETT President & CEO EVAN MCELROY Senior Vice President Marketing & Communications

connections vol


29, no



KELLY GAINES Editor in Chief John Collins Managing Editor CREATIVE SERVICES Layout

In Memoriam: Donald G. Fisher, 1928-2009 When Don Fisher passed away on Sept. 27, I found myself reminiscing about this extraordinary man who did so much for the Boys & Girls Club Movement. Leafing through papers praising the humanitarian and philanthropist, I came across a quote attributed to Don’s mother, Aileen: “Never say no when you can say yes.” And it struck me – that was exactly how Don served Boys & Girls Clubs. Whenever we asked Don for something, he never said no; it was always a yes for the Movement he believed in so passionately. Don’s long friendship with Boys & Girls Clubs took root in 1958, at the Columbia Park Club in his hometown of San Francisco. He joined the board in 1963 and continued his local service for the rest of his life. In 1996, Don was elected to Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Board of Governors, where his contributions to our national efforts were vast and varied. Don was the original investor in our state alliances, an initiative that has raised more than $409 million for local Clubs to date. He was also a current investor in our It Just Takes One individual giving campaign. In 2002, under Don’s leadership, Gap Foundation partnered with BGCA to create CareerLaunch®, our career development program that has impacted thousands and thousands of teen Club members. In 2000, Don was presented with our highest honor, the Herbert Hoover Humanitarian Award. In 2002, Don and wife Doris received our Foundation Philanthropy Award for their efforts involving state alliances. In 2007, we were asked to nominate a volunteer to be honored at a White House State Dinner. There was no other choice than Don. One of my fondest memories will always be seeing Don proudly seated next to President George W. Bush.

Connections is published quarterly by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. It is distributed without charge to member Clubs of Boys & Girls Clubs of America as a service of their memberships. It is also available by subscription at $10.00 per year. Single copy price is $3.00.

It wasn’t enough for Don Fisher to live the American dream. He wanted to share that dream so that young people could have the same opportunities he did. For more than 50 years, this visionary entrepreneur, leader and philanthropist always said yes. And for that, we are forever grateful.

Articles or article ideas should be submitted to the Editor, Connections, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 1275 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309. Use or return of material cannot be guaranteed and no remuneration can be made. Opinions expressed by contributing authors do not necessarily reflect policies of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Copyright ©2009 by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Job No. 1625-09 1SSN:0272-6513

Roxanne Spillett President & CEO


2 Born to BE GREAT

Youth of the Year winners overcome obstacles to realize their ambitions

6 Making the Grade

How two Clubs are motivating members to succeed in school and beyond

8 Racing Toward Greatness

A Club’s culture of inclusion leads to an inspiring success story

10 To Tweet or Not to Tweet

The brave new world of social media

12 Snapshots of a Great Year A look back at exciting and inspiring events of 2009

Page 2




14 Chairman’s Report

From BGCA leader Robbie Bach

24 View from the Potomac

Deeping our impact and broadening our reach in 2010

26 Excellence in Action

Best practices from the field

28 Managing Risk

Real situations, real solutions

Page 8

news 16 The Power of Partnership

JCPenney is on a mission to provide enhanced access to quality afterschool programs

18 Pipeline for the Future

Planned giving programs provide long-term sustainability

20 A Super Legacy for Youth

NFL YET Centers make a difference

22 In Pursuit of Excellence The 2009 Joel E. Smilow Scholarship winners

Page 20 w w w . B G C A . O R G





Born to



Youth of the Year winners overcome obstacles to realize their ambitions By Ann Cantrell

For five remarkable young people, a meeting in the Oval Office with President Barack Obama was an unlikely ending to a journey that began at their Boys & Girls Club. Nonetheless, after years as Club members and months participating in Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Youth of the Year program, our 2009-10 regional winners found themselves in the inner sanctum of the White House, receiving congratulations from the President of the United States. Established in 1947, the Youth of the Year program recognizes and celebrates young people’s commitment to public service, academic performance, character and long-term goals, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome on their path to success. Each September, the five regional Youth of the Year winners – selected from thousands of aspiring Club members at local and state levels – gather in Washington, D.C. While each of the final five distinguished themselves among their peers, only one could claim the title of National Youth of the Year, the highest honor bestowed on a Boys & Girls Club member. An esteemed panel of judges – Douglas J. Blankinship, U.S. Dept. of the Interior; Kerry Anne Carter, Staples Inc.; Stephen Freitas, Outdoor Advertising Association of America; Janice Kaplan, PARADE magazine; and Jeff Slowikowski, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention – undertook the difficult task of choosing one winner from five outstanding candidates. In the end, Carolina Correa of the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket, R.I., was named our new National Youth of the Year at a Congressional Breakfast co-hosted by Sen. Orrin Hatch and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Sept. 16. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to represent all of the kids who grew up in Boys & Girls Clubs,” said Carolina, the first Latina to be National Youth of the Year. “The Club has meant so much to me and it is truly an honor.” As National Youth of the Year, Carolina will serve as BGCA’s teen spokesperson for the next year and tour the country as an ambassador for Clubs. She also received more than $26,000 in college scholarships, courtesy of Reader’s Digest Foundation, longtime sponsor of the Youth of the Year program. (Each regional winner received $11,000 in scholarships from Reader’s Digest.) During their week in Washington, the five young people enjoyed several extraordinary experiences. They visited iconic landmarks such as the Jefferson Memorial, met with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, and received President’s Volunteer Service Awards for contributing to their communities. It was truly an unforgettable week for five unforgettable – and exceptional – teens.

National Youth of the Year Carolina Correa

Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket, R.I. Born in Colombia, Carolina Correa, 19, came to the United States at age 12. She cared for an ill parent and younger brother, got a job to provide additional income for her family and took advanced placement courses – all while learning a new language. For seven years, the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket helped Carolina make new friends, learn English and feel accepted. She found her niche in the Club’s aquatics program and was named “most valuable swimmer” three times. She now serves as a swim instructor and coach. Carolina has dedicated many hours to community service projects, including tutoring immigrants preparing to take the U.S. citizenship exam. She also created a program to teach swimming basics to inner city youth.

“Coming from another country was a traumatic experience but it was at the Boys & Girls Club where I met my first friend, learned English and felt accepted. It is truly an honor to be a part of such a great family.”

In high school, Carolina mentored freshmen and was a tutor. She was also nominated to the City of Pawtucket’s Teen Hall of Fame, received the Rhode Island Presidential Student of the Year Award and was inducted into the National Honor Society of High School Scholars. She graduated in the top 3 percent of her class. An aspiring child psychologist, she attends Assumption College in Worcester, Mass.

Ann Cantrell is a contributing writer to Connections.



Midwest Region


LaQuita Grinnage

Christney Kpodo

Youth of the Year

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Wis. The middle child of 14, LaQuita Grinnage, 18, has faced a host of challenges, including homelessness and poverty. While living in a shelter at age 10, she began attending the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. It was at the Club where LaQuita discovered her many talents and strengths. Through leadership and “I am extremely grateful for the community experience and all of the opportunities service provided by Boys & Girls Clubs. programs such I now strive to be an example for as Torch Club and Keystone those who come after me.” Club, LaQuita learned about the importance of helping others. She also gained skills in organizing projects and motivating her peers. She used those skills to become a founding member of the Club’s acclaimed Sista Pride program, which teaches teen girls how to become responsible, mature and positive young women. LaQuita has led many community service initiatives, including an awareness campaign about the importance of donating blood to sickle cell patients. In addition, she volunteered at a children’s hospital every afternoon before going to the Club.

Youth of the Year

Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, Wash. Christney Kpodo, 18, is the epitome of grace under fire. Although she grew up in an environment marked by domestic violence and alcohol and drug abuse, Christney always displayed remarkable selflessness and strength. A member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound for four years, Christney participated in the Junior Staff program and became an active volunteer. She progressed from role model to mentor, from tutor to leader. She organized “The Boys & Girls Club has always food and clothing drives, and also enjoyed been there for me, encouraging me to participating in Club be myself. I look forward to helping beautification projects.

the Club and being a positive role model for the next generation.”

In high school, Christney was a model student. As an Achievers Scholar, she represented Tacoma Public School students at school board meetings and visited middle schools to discuss the importance of obtaining an education, including strategies to prepare for college. Additionally, she took advanced placement classes and served in student government. A freshman at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Christney is studying psychology, with plans to pursue a career in family law.

Despite a lack of family support, LaQuita is committed to obtaining an education to create a brighter future for herself. Toward that end, she took advanced placement classes in high school and participated in the Club’s college preparatory program. A freshman at Tennessee State University in Nashville, she plans to become a pediatrician.

The YOY finalists pose with wax sculptures of the First Couple at Madame Tussauds (left) before receiving the thrill of a lifetime when they were welcomed into the Oval Office by President Obama.


WINTER 2009/10

Southeast Region

Southwest Region

Aneka Billings

Tony Spears

Youth of the Year

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast, Gulfport, Miss.

Youth of the Year Boys & Girls Club of Bellville, Texas

Although her childhood was plagued by domestic violence, paternal abandonment and alcoholism, Aneka Billings, 18, never gave up hope. Believing that education will help her break the cycle of poverty, she strives to excel academically. An excellent role model, Aneka willingly shared her experiences with fellow members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast in “I could not have become the hopes of providing person I am today without encouragement and Boys & Girls Clubs. I am very motivation. During honored to represent my region her four years at the and I will strive to be a good Club, she participated in Keystone Club, a role model for all Club kids.” leadership and service group for teens, and organized several service initiatives, including a health and fitness day for younger members. She also led a project to ensure a joyous holiday season for children of incarcerated parents.

Before discovering the Boys & Girls Club of Bellville, Tony Spears, 18, didn’t have any direction in his life. The oldest boy of seven children in a single-parent household, he struggled with the deaths of friends and family members, and carried a heavy heart. His future began to brighten when Tony joined the Club in the sixth grade.

In high school, Aneka was a member of the National Honor Society and a drum major for the band. As one of 13 students selected for membership in the Tavis Smiley National Youth Advisory Council, she provided advice on ways to engage young Americans to want to make a difference in their communities. Aneka majors in marketing and graphic communications at Alabama A&M University.

In high school, Tony led a peer-to-peer mentoring and mediation program to help classmates in difficult situations. He also organized a self-help group to teach important life skills to young people. A freshman at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, Tony plans to pursue a career in radiology.

Tony credits his Club with shaping him into an ambitious, confident young man. At the Club, he took an active role in mentoring and building “Getting involved in my Club positive relationships. He provided me with a direction in assisted members with life and purpose for the future. their homework and set an example for others by I am so very thankful for all the helping with the Club’s dayClub has given me.” to-day operations. Tony devoted many hours of service to his Club, high school athletic department and church. He participated in Toys for Tots, Operation Christmas, Salvation Army fundraisers and senior citizen outreach programs. He also encouraged his younger siblings to become involved.

Clockwise from left: The finalists show off their personalized BE GREAT billboards; taking a well-deserved breather on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial; sharing a silly moment at the National Museum of Natural History; Carolina Correa is named National Youth of the Year at the annual Congressional Breakfast.



Making the Grade How two Clubs are motivating young people to succeed in school and beyond By John Collins

As a native and long-time resident, Kersten Theberge knows Lawrence, Mass., as well as most locals know their Red Sox. “It’s a struggling inner city,” says Theberge, assistant education director for the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence. “A lot of people rely on government assistance. There’s a lot of gang violence, a lot of drugs.” Located about 25 miles north of Boston, Lawrence was once home to a thriving textile industry. But by the 1950s, most textile mills had disappeared. That loss led to a city in decline, which, even 50 years later, persists. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 out of 4 Lawrence families live below the poverty line.

Higher Expectations A 2009 report by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education found that just 35.8 percent of students who entered a Lawrence public high school as freshmen in the 2003-04 school year graduated on time in 2008. But at the Lawrence Club, all 33 members of the Class of 2009 graduated on time. Moreover, each of them continued on to a two- or four-year college. So why are Club youth getting the grades when nearly 2 out of 3 teens in the same city can’t graduate on time? It appears that having a committed staff and young people who expect to do well are two big reasons for their success. Most Club personnel hold at least a bachelor’s degree and many are bi-lingual – not a small consideration in a community that is 70.8 percent Latino (2006-08 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau). But the most critical element for success may be convincing young people to develop elevated expectations for themselves. “We instill in them that they’re expected to go on to higher education,” says Theberge. Getting good grades and thinking ahead to college is emphasized via many programs and events: Photos from left: A member of the Boys & Girls Club of Rockford, Ill., in deep concentration in the Learning Room; in this exercise on following instructions, youth from the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, Mass., build a model from toothpicks and gumdrops; a tutor provides assistance in Lawrence’s Homework Room; Roselee Mohika, Lawrence Club alum and valedictorian of her 2009 high school class, now attends Wesleyan University on a full scholarship; a volunteer for the Lawrence Club’s Math and Science Program for Girls helps a member test chemical reactions; Stephanie Pascual, a former member of the Lawrence Club, entered Mount Holyoke College on a full scholarship last fall.


WINTER 2009/10

• Hoop Realities – Basketball’s popularity led the Club to start its “Academic Basketball” program. From October through March, some 150 players practice three to four times a week. Each practice includes a team study hall. At school, teachers complete weekly progress reports and return them to the coach. • Plan for the Future – This career exploration program offers teens workshops, field trips and summer internships to learn about professions that interest them. • Homework Help – Every day, 150-180 kids crowd into the Homework Room. Seated three to a four-top table, one chair is left vacant for one of the tutors – often students from such nearby institutions as Merrimack College, Phillips Academy and Brooks School – who rotate from table to table. • College Fair – Representatives from 21 colleges attended the Club’s third annual fair in October. Attendees learned about topics such as recommended grade point average, the significance of SAT scores and campus life. Club members are urged to start attending the fair in ninth grade so they understand the process when they’re ready for college.

The organization’s emphasis on education is working: • Since 1985, more than 500 members have gone to college. • More than 600 members have received scholarships to prep schools. • Alumni include two National Youth of the Year winners and two regional Youth of the Year winners. Yes, the city of Lawrence is hurting. But thanks to the Lawrence Club, its staff and its members, the prognosis for many of the city’s children is bright.

Hope in Rockford About 90 minutes northwest of Chicago lies Rockford, Ill., a city of some 150,000 citizens. Like so many U.S. cities and towns, it has been rocked by the high school dropout crisis. According to Education Week, the graduation rate for Rockford public high schools was 47.1 percent in 2006. Still, hope remains. For the 2008-09 school year, 97 percent of Boys & Girls Club of Rockford members in grades 3-12 advanced to the next grade or graduated. This isn’t an anomaly, but part of a larger process of positive reinforcement and recognition. “You’ve gotta make it fun,” says Chip Stoner, president and CEO of the Rockford Club since 1997 and part of the Boys & Girls Club Movement since 1989. “We encourage kids to improve themselves, but we don’t make them do it. Over time, it makes a difference.” The Rockford organization consists of seven units that serve 9,000 kids annually. For the past eight years, Rockford Club staff have collected report cards of Club members deemed at risk due to such factors as economic level, family status, neighborhood residence and academic performance. Today, that’s about 800 kids whose report cards are collected four times a year to track their progress. The more Stoner talks, the clearer it becomes that helping kids reach their potential is about a long-term commitment. “Our graduation rates didn’t get there overnight,” he says.

Volunteers are instrumental in the Club’s long-term vision. Tapping resources such as scholastically-savvy high schoolers and work-study students from nearby colleges, the Club maintains a steady roster of tutors. It also strives to maintain a consistent staff in its Learning Room.

Connecting Education with Vocation Last summer, 25 teen members participated in a six-week program that combined two BGCA curriculums: our career development program, CareerLaunch®, sponsored by Gap Foundation, and our financial literacy program, Money Matters: Make It Count, sponsored by Charles Schwab Foundation. The hook: Each participant received a weekly $75 stipend. Each morning, participants spent two hours studying life skills such as resumé and cover letter writing, job interview fundamentals (proper attire, answering interview questions), and how to open a checking or savings account. (At summer’s start, only five in the group had a checking or savings account. After six weeks, only two didn’t have one.) Local professionals, including engineers and teachers, made presentations about their jobs and the role education played in their success. Then, daily lessons complete, the teens really started to earn their money. When the Club opened, the teens took on Junior Staff roles, assisting with programs and activities, such as supervising weekly field trips. As a result, they saw a tangible connection: education leads to better jobs, which leads to better paychecks.

“Someone Wants Them to Succeed” Plainly, the Rockford organization’s systems of recognition and reinforcement are making a positive impact. But Club personnel also meet a basic human need: they care. Some young people don’t find that concern elsewhere, even at home. “Sometimes we’re the only adults in their life to see their report card,” says Stoner. “It shows them that someone wants them to succeed.” John Collins is senior writer/editor for BGCA.



Racing Toward Greatness A Club’s culture of inclusion leads to an inspiring success story By John Collins

Blake Leeper has always taken life head on. A bi-lateral, below-the-knee amputee since infancy, he was fitted with his first prostheses when he was 16 months old. Being a person with a disability is all Blake has ever known – but it’s never held him back. Today, this 20-year-old alumnus of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport in northeast Tennessee is an inspiring role model. A junior at the University of Tennessee, Blake is majoring in physics and plans to become a doctor. As if that isn’t enough, he is also a member of the 2009 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Team. His aim: to 8

WINTER 2009/10

be a member of the 2012 Paralympics team, which will compete in London. This scholar and athlete is a prime example of how an inclusive environment can be key in enabling anyone to realize their potential.

What is Inclusion? Inclusion can mean different things to different people. For Boys & Girls Clubs, inclusion means involving all Club members, regardless of ability, in daily activities and accepting them for who they are. As Boys & Girls Clubs

of America’s mission statement affirms, Clubs open their doors every day to “all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” Marvin Laster, director of diversity services for BGCA, believes the best way to support Club members with disabilities are by recognizing their inherent worth. “Inclusion is a philosophy, not a program,” he says. “The focus should be on recognizing and celebrating the uniqueness and talents of each Club member.”

No Limits Chuck Owens, director of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport, agrees. Owens, who has known Blake since he became a member, credits the young man’s parents, Bill and Edith Leeper, with giving their son a solid foundation for his success. “He has great parents. They instilled in him that he didn’t have any limitations.” An athlete from the get-go, Blake began playing baseball and basketball at age 5. He recalls how Anthony Richardson, his first Club baseball coach, welcomed him to the Club’s 7-and-under baseball team. “He gave me an opportunity just like the other guys,” says Blake. “He treated me like everyone else. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was so important for me.” In Owens’ estimation, children with disabilities “don’t want preferential treatment. Treat them just like any other kid and they’ll do great.” Unfortunately, not every person with a disability has the support system Blake did.

A Sad Reality In 2007, Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute released the Third Annual Disability Status Report. The results were not encouraging. • Jobs – Barely 38 percent of people with disabilities were employed, compared with about 80 percent of people without disabilities. There are 22.3 million people with disabilities of working age (21-64), representing 13 percent of the total working-age population. • Poverty – Americans with disabilities are more than twice as likely to live in poverty: 25.4 percent of Americans with disabilities live in poverty compared to 9.5 percent of those without disabilities. Clearly, such underemployment and excessive poverty hurts individuals with disabilities most. But ultimately, their underutilization also affects society and the country. Given the opportunity, people with disabilities have always made – and continue to make – vital, meaningful contributions to their communities. Legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it illegal to discriminate based on disability. While the ADA and other laws have broken some

barriers that once excluded individuals with disabilities, much work remains to be done. Boys & Girls Clubs can be at the forefront of these efforts. Clubs can develop a philosophy of inclusion that builds upon a sense of belonging, ensuring that every member is valued and respected. By setting a positive example, Boys & Girls Clubs can go a long way toward educating the public about the potential for greatness that exists within everyone.

Going for Gold Last June, Blake visited Oklahoma, where he competed in the 2009 UCO Endeavor Games for Athletes with Physical Disabilities. He won three gold medals – a precursor, he hopes, to bringing home the gold from London in 2012. Whether it’s studying physics, preparing to become a doctor or competing against world-class athletes, Blake says his prodigious drive to achieve comes from lessons he learned in Kingsport. “The Club taught us about good character, being a good person and being successful. They kept us busy every day. They taught us how to be productive in life.” Should Blake make it to London, he would likely compete in the 100-meter dash against South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, also a double-amputee and widely considered the fastest man with no legs. It’s a tough assignment. But don’t ever count Blake Leeper out. For more information about Embracing Inclusion, contact Marvin Laster, director of diversity services for BGCA, at John Collins is senior writer/editor for BGCA.

Embracing Inclusion Take advantage of BGCA’s Embracing Inclusion initiative. Clubs can develop and implement their own inclusion philosophy by using resources such as a best practices guide, assessment tool and a comprehensive overview of the philosophy of inclusion. • Embracing Inclusion Best Practices Guide: Best practices from five Clubs, including examples, ideas and resources to assist Clubs in developing and implementing an inclusion philosophy. • Guiding Practices for Inclusion: This assessment tool allows Clubs to evaluate their current level of service to youth with disabilities. Includes recommended practices for Club programming and an action plan to identify and address areas that can be improved upon to more effectively serve members with disabilities. • It’s About All of Us: A Guide for Developing Inclusive Club Programming: This instructional guide can provide staff and volunteers with a better understanding of inclusion. Topics include how to partner with parents, appropriate staffing, what the Americans with Disabilities Act means for your Club and much more. CONNECTIONS



Tweet or




The brave new world of social media

By Katy Griggs

Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Such social networking sites are all the rage these days. Most of us have at least dabbled on some of these sites; many of us have our own personal Facebook profiles, and searching for funny videos on YouTube can occupy an entire evening. According to a recent report from Forrester Research, more than 4 in 5 U.S. adults use social media at least once a month, with fully half engaging with friends, family, colleagues and strangers via social network sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Five years ago, YouTube didn’t even exist. Today, it serves up more than a billion – with a b – page views a day. As of December 2009, Facebook had more than 350 million members, 100 million of whom had joined since mid-July. The evidence is clear: social networking is here to stay. Social networking sites provide a great way for people to connect, share their interests and support causes. So what other purposes can these sites serve? How can they help Boys & Girls Clubs? Could social networking be the next frontier for generating awareness and support?

Charting New Territory Two years ago, Boys & Girls Clubs of America stuck its toe into the social networking waters, establishing a Facebook page, YouTube channel and a Twitter account. Today, BGCA has more than 5,100 Facebook “friends,” including many local Clubs. The BE GREAT videos posted on YouTube have gone “viral,” having been passed on again and again to people outside the usual audience.

And brief (140 or fewer characters) “tweets” on Twitter have prompted “followers” to go to for complete details on a variety of topics. Many Clubs are also exploring social networking. They are using these platforms to promote upcoming events, reach younger generations, share Club success stories, and even recruit staff. While most nonprofits report that they are still learning how to generate large dollar donations via these sites, some Clubs are hoping their social networking efforts will allow them to cultivate future donors. “The more contact we have with our community, the more likely they are to support our cause,” says Karyn Bocko, marketing and communications coordinator for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. “Social media networks have helped us remain top of mind and have encouraged our friends to rally in response to a call to action.” The Denver Club primarily uses Facebook and Twitter in its social networking efforts. In particular, Twitter has helped the Club reach out to an extended community. “Our event posts often get ‘retweeted’ by several users, including some with large numbers of followers,” says Bocko. “Our organization was also successful in getting people to ‘follow’ us by promising Twitter users that they would be the first to know the names of raffle winners at a recent fundraiser.” When launching a social media endeavor, Bocko says it is important to remember that social networking is simply a conversation between people. “Start by reading posts by similar organizations and identify what works,” she says. “Once you have an account, dedicate time each week to posting information that will resonate with your audience and encourage interactive communication.”

Building Relationships The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston sees its social networking efforts as a way to foster future relationships. “For our organization, fundraising success is usually realized in personal contact,” says Jan Goldstein, director of marketing and communications for the Boston organization. “As marketing professionals, our job is not so much to be a fundraising arm, but rather to help establish a presence and, eventually, relationships.” About a year ago, an intern created the Club’s Facebook page. In the last two months, the Club’s CEO began using Twitter. Facebook has become a natural way to communicate and the tweets have since accumulated 50 followers. Goldstein says that her experience has been that people are more likely to respond to Facebook or Twitter than they are to sign up for e-newsletters. Acknowledging the relative novelty of social networking, she says, “We’re not sure how social media will pay off, but it seems like it would be a mistake not to do it.” Goldstein recommends finding someone on staff with a special interest or passion for technology to start the effort.

Bear in mind, you needn’t reinvent the wheel when establishing a presence on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Visit the Social Media section of BGCA’s Marketing Best Practices Community (marketing.bgca. org/community) to see several examples of successful online efforts by Clubs. Plus, share best practices with Club staff nationwide on the Discussion Boards and access need-to-know resources to assist in planning your online endeavors.

Brand New Opportunity The Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove, Calif., has found social media to be a powerful tool for brand management. “Social media has increased brand awareness among our community members, businesses, Club alumni and marketing professionals,” says Tricia Mathis, director of communications for the Garden Grove organization. “It’s helping spread the word, educating people about our organization and its mission.” Garden Grove currently administers a Facebook page, a YouTube channel and a Twitter account. The platforms work together to create an overall social media brand awareness campaign. In fact, the combined effort created opportunities to connect with local businesses that later became donors for an event.

Create an Online Strategy As exciting as the possibilities associated with social networking are, there are potential drawbacks. The key to any successful Web endeavor is fresh content. Keeping content updated requires time and planning, which may strain Club resources. If your target audience doesn’t use social media, or your current technologies don’t fully support your everyday needs, social media might not be for you – at the moment. You should also be aware that nearly half of companies with 100 or more employees block their employees’ access to social media. By its interactive online nature, social media presents a world of possibilities for Boys & Girls Clubs. And though it is a relatively new communications vehicle whose long-term impact remains uncertain, it offers Clubs opportunities to reach far beyond their walls to a whole new audience. Still, Mathis of the Garden Grove Club advises caution for organizations that want to explore social networking. “Don’t be afraid of social media,” she says. “However, you must have a strategy before diving in. It can be a scary thing at first, but dedicate a little time to do it right.” For more information about online resources, contact Cristin Jordan, project coordinator of marketing & Web strategy for BGCA, at Katy Griggs is editorial coordinator for BGCA.



Snapshots of a GREAT FEBRUARY


National spokesperson and Club alumnus Denzel Washington’s BE GREAT billboard was unveiled in Times Square in January.

Talented Club youth provided outstanding entertainment at our 103rd National Conference in Atlanta last May.



WINTER 2009/10

Dressed to the nines, members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana, from Lafayette, La., took part in presidential inauguration festivities in Washington, D.C.

Last June, past and current Youth of the Year winners attended the European Keystone Leadership Summit in Germany and visited Clubs on U.S. military bases throughout Europe. From left: 2007 National YOY Demetrice Tuttle, 2008 regional winners Ashley Turner and Jamaal Phillips, and 2008 National YOY Shonnetta Henry, with Air Force Maj. Gen. Jack Egginton at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.


Tory Myles of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, D.C., is named National Money Matters Ambassador in February. She now attends Virginia Commonwealth University.

The national winners of the Club Tech Digital Arts Festival visited Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, where they spent a July week engaging in career experiences and visiting attractions.



Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta joined Clubs across America and on U.S. military bases overseas in celebrating National Boys & Girls Club Week. Thousands of events emphasized Clubs’ value to their communities.

On a September Saturday, participants from the Boys & Girls Clubs of North County in California joined thousands of adults and children nationwide and on U.S. military bases overseas in celebrating Day for Kids.

Year for Boys & Girls Clubs



More than 1,600 Club teens and their advisors gathered in Atlanta last April for the 42nd National Keystone Conference. Community service was a conference theme, inspiring Keystoners to volunteer for several projects, such as making this square for the national AIDS Quilt.

The effectiveness of our Triple Play program was a main topic at the BE HEALTHY advocacy event, held Sept. 16 in Washington, D.C. Left to right: BGCA SVP of Program and Youth Development Services Judith J. Pickens; 2006 National YOY Stacey Walker; Olympic Gold Medalist Dominique Dawes; Dr. Tenley E. Albright of MIT.

In April, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke at the grand opening of the BGCA sculpture garden in Atlanta.

Entertainer and Club alum Mario Lopez, who was named BGCA Fitness Ambassador in 2009, unveiled his BE A STAR billboard in Los Angeles last May.

Former Club kid Usher unveiled his BE ICONIC billboard in Atlanta last April.

Flanked by retired Phillie great Tony Taylor and the Phillie Phanatic, Matt Cottle, a member of Boys & Girls Club of Camden County in New Jersey, tossed the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 4 of the World Series in Philadelphia.

Emblazoned with the BGCA logo, NASCAR driver David Ragan shows off his #6 Ford to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas youth.

Families at November’s National Family PLUS CookOff in Dallas in front of their culinary masterpieces. From left: the Madison, Rodriguez, Alvarado and Smith families.





columns Chairman’s Report

Chairman’s Report Our Resilient Movement

Even during tough times, Boys & Girls Clubs endure As I look back on 2009, my first year as chairman of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, it strikes me that, while it was no doubt a challenging year, it was also a year of notable achievements for our Movement. Although the economic environment remains uncertain, Boys & Girls Clubs, as always, endure. We are a resilient Movement, one that rolls with the proverbial punches, handling tough times with the tough-mindedness they call for. It is times like now – as already-struggling families are further impacted by lost income and increased costs – when our services are needed even more. No matter the economic climate, children and teens need a safe, fun and positive place to grow and learn. Today, as always, Boys & Girls Clubs continue to be that place families can count on, in good times and bad, to help all young people reach their full potential.

Investing in People In large part, our resilience is due to one of our Movement’s primary pillars of strength: outstanding leadership by Club professionals and board volunteers. To further develop this leadership and encourage new leaders to come to the fore, we established Boys & Girls Club Leadership University and the Advanced Leadership Program (ALP).

Robbie Bach

ALP aims to significantly strengthen Clubs’ abilities to deepen their impact on young people by developing leadership skills. Specifically, ALP focuses on developing and enhancing skills in the areas of fundraising, board leadership, and leading and measuring impact. With an emphasis on teamwork, ALP teaches that leadership is about much more than one person showing the way. Senior leadership teams work together to identify and carry out a transformational project, unique to their Club, that strengthens their entire organization. More than anything, ALP is an investment in the people who keep Clubs open and operating every day. And while you can’t put a price on the value of positively impacting a child’s life, you can conclude that providing Club professionals with the tools to do so is most definitely a worthy investment.

It Just Takes One to Plan Ahead Our Movement’s ongoing stability and success also speak to long-term strategies put in place years ago, some specifically designed for the challenging economic situations we face today. Our It Just Takes One annual campaign initiative is a perfect example. It Just Takes One is geared toward securing the most reliable source of sustainable support: individual giving. Through the initiative, BGCA provides Clubs with direction and counsel on conducting a 14

WINTER 2009/10

Chairman’s Report board-driven fundraising campaign, during a defined period of time, to secure unrestricted operating funds from individuals. It Just Takes One emphasizes the need to demonstrate the impact of a Club’s mission on youth and the community in order to establish ongoing relationships with potential lifelong donors. Since its rollout in 2005 through 2008, It Just Takes One has enabled participating Clubs to raise more than $225 million. The success of this initiative in such a short period of time is indicative of the potential associated with our increased focus on individual giving. Continuing to build a strong base of individual giving is key to our future success, regardless of economic conditions.

An Ideal Time to BE GREAT Was 2009 the best time to launch a new brand campaign? To me, the timing was ideal. As we know, it is when times are toughest that Club services are most needed. Indeed, Giving USA 2009, the Giving USA Foundation’s annual report on philanthropy, reports 54 percent of U.S. human services charities saw the need for their services rise in 2008. To build even more support and attract more advocates for our young people, we must increase awareness of the great work done by Boys & Girls Clubs for America’s kids. Hence the launch of our BE GREAT campaign. By featuring stories of prominent Club alumni, BE GREAT emphasizes the life-changing impact of the Club experience. A diverse group of Club alumni, including Denzel Washington, General Wesley Clark, Jackie JoynerKersee, Usher, Martin Sheen and Ashanti, generously shared their stories of how Boys & Girls Clubs played


vital roles on their paths to greatness. On the local level, Clubs are identifying their own prominent alumni, from doctors and police officers to teachers, judges and other community leaders, to tell their stories about how the Club influenced their lives. And those stories are being heard, loud and clear. With national placement in magazines and newspapers, more than 2,000 billboards across the country, TV and radio spots, and our Web site, our campaign is spreading the word about how Clubs empower young people to realize their full potential to BE GREAT.

Enhanced Support for Clubs Finally, perhaps the best news from 2009 is the amount of critically needed funds generated nationally for local Clubs. This year, $151 million was generated nationally for local Clubs, representing a more than 8 percent increase from 2008. Moreover, our Movement was the beneficiary of some $50 million in pro bono media exposure, creating greater awareness of and support for our mission. We are more committed than ever to generating resources for Clubs, and are very encouraged by the promising progress we saw in 2009. As we enter 2010, there is guarded optimism that the U.S. economy will begin to emerge from this recession, the worst since the 1930s. To be sure, there are still difficult times ahead, but our Movement and our mission will continue to endure. Whatever the future holds, America and its children can rest assured that Boys & Girls Clubs will always be there for them, in good times and in bad.



The Power of Partnership JCPenney is on a mission to provide enhanced access to quality afterschool programs By John Collins

Watching a parent suffer from Alzheimer’s disease is devastating. For Gary Munyer, (left) it was exceptionally tough. The youngest of five, Munyer was just 9 when the illness forced his mother to live in a nursing home. His father, a self-employed carpenter, often couldn’t return to their home in Westminster, Calif., until after dark. With his two sisters married, one brother in the Navy and the lone brother at home often working nights, young Munyer spent a lot of time alone, unsupervised. In the mid-1970s, gang activity plagued Westminster. Munyer, introduced to the Westminster Boys Club by a friend’s father, says, “I had to make a choice – gangs or the Club. I chose the Club, and I think it saved my life.” Today, Munyer, 47, lives in South Dakota where he is the manager of the JCPenney store in Yankton. He’s also the president of the board for Boys & Girls Club of the Missouri River Area (formerly Boys & Girls Clubs of the Yankton Sioux). “I’m not sure where I’d be if it wasn’t for the Club,” says Munyer, whose 10-year-old son, Travis, attends the Club daily and whose 16-year-old daughter, Katelyn, is a staff volunteer. In a way, Munyer’s story is representative of the successful consequences that a partnership between JCPenney and Boys & Girls Clubs of America can have on youth. 16

WINTER 2009/10

Life-enriching Programs JCPenney has a long-standing relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs of America in working to provide young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, with access to safe, positive afterschool environments and proven programs. JCPenney has donated more than $27 million to a host of BGCA programs, including Project Learn, Goals for Graduation and Power Hour. Current national funding supports afterschool access grants that assist local Clubs in recruiting new members or enabling existing members to continue their participation. Further financial support has come from JCPenney’s Round-Up campaign. Four times a year, customers can voluntarily “round up” their purchases to the nearest whole dollar and donate the difference to a local afterschool program. Since its inception two years ago, the Round-Up initiative has raised more than $2 million for some 475 Clubs. JCPenney adopted afterschool programs as its signature cause a decade ago. In that time, the company has provided more than $80 million for afterschool initiatives through partnerships with BGCA, the YMCA of the USA, United Way of America, National 4-H Council and FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

America After 3 PM

Enhanced Support

Children who are unsupervised during the afterschool hours are at risk of falling behind academically, socially and emotionally. They are also higher-risk candidates for drug use, gang involvement, pregnancy and dropping out of school. Conversely, afterschool programs, such as those provided by Clubs, offer a safe alternative for children and can be key in promoting healthier lifestyles, improved social skills and enhanced academic performance.

As JCPenney celebrates its 10-year legacy of supporting afterschool programs, it is committed to finding ways to ensure that more of America’s children and families receive the vital support they need. In addition to providing funding, JCPenney encourages its associates to invest their time and talent to help make a meaningful difference around the afterschool issue, which also builds personal connections to the company’s philanthropic efforts.

As a leading corporate advocate for afterschool programming, JCPenney takes an active role in understanding the many facets involved in the issue, including how a recessionary economy may impede access for many American families. In October 2009, the Afterschool Alliance and JCPenney Afterschool released America After 3 PM: A Household Survey on Afterschool in America, their second, most in-depth study exploring how America’s children spend their afternoons. Comparing these results from the original study conducted in 2004, key findings reveal several important trends:

In 2009, for instance, JCPenney participated in Youth of the Year competitions in BGCA’s Southeast and Southwest regions. Local JCPenney district and store managers volunteered their time in support of the events and presented $500 gift cards to each state winner. In 2010, JCPenney plans to invite managers to volunteer for every state Youth of the Year competition by serving as judges, preparing Club members for competition and assisting with events to create meaningful experiences for all involved.

• Attendance in afterschool programs increased from 6.5 million children in 2004 to 8.4 million children in 2009. • Despite growing participation, the number of children who have no place to go after school has risen from 14.3 million in 2004 to 15.1 million in 2009. • More parents (18.5 million) would send their children to an afterschool program if one were available to them (up from 15.3 million in 2004). Of the nearly 30,000 households surveyed, parents who indicate that they would likely enroll their child(ren) in an afterschool program if one were available to them cite cost (68 percent) and transportation (55 percent) as the key barriers to enrollment.

Together, JCPenney and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are having a significant and positive impact on young people and families all across the country. While much work remains to be done to address the growing needs of the 15.1 million children who have no place to go after school, this long-term partnership is a powerful model for making a measurable difference on a critical social issue. John Collins is senior writer/editor for BGCA.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County youth enjoy a shopping event at JCPenney in Frisco, Texas; each received a $50 gift card. Opposite: Staff welcome Club kids; left: Pleased with his purchase; below: Club youth express their gratitude.

“Access to afterschool programs continues to be a major concern for America’s families, which is especially important to our millions of customers who are seeking highquality afterschool alternatives for their children,” said Michael Theilmann, chairman of JCPenney Afterschool and chief human resources and administration officer for JCPenney. “Data from the America After 3 PM study is powerful evidence for our country to do even more to support the rising need for afterschool programs. We look forward to continuing our strong, long-term commitment to this issue.”



Pipeline for the Planned giving programs provide long-term sustainability

By Denita Morin Fundraising is always a challenge, especially during difficult economic times. For 160 Boys & Girls Club organizations, however, the future is looking bright. Why? Because of two words: planned giving. Launched in 2003, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Planned Giving Club Services department recently marked an impressive milestone – enabling local Clubs to secure more than $104 million in planned giving expectancies. Even more impressive than the dollar amount committed to is the fact that this remarkable milestone was achieved through the participation of just 16 percent of Club organizations, a powerful indication of the potential associated with successful planned giving programs. If your Club hasn’t yet delved into the world of planned giving, now is the time to consider initiating this important strategy to ensure your Club’s long-term ability to effectively serve youth and the community.

A Comprehensive Strategy Planned giving is a means of obtaining financial support by encouraging individuals to include a Boys & Girls Club in their will, life insurance policy or trust, thus securing reliable, steady funding for years to come. Planned giving can be particularly effective during an economic decline; while people may not be able to give right now, perhaps they can do so at a later time. BGCA offers a full range of resources to assist Clubs of all sizes in developing planned giving programs [see box]. One of the most successful of these is The Heritage Club, a national deferred giving society that recognizes individuals who have included a Club in their estate plans. The Heritage Club is an important stewardship tool that cultivates and honors planned giving donors. All 160 Club organizations that were part of the $104 million milestone participate in The Heritage Club. In total, these organizations have secured more than 1,900 gifts.

According to Bruce Daggy, the Club’s executive director, The Heritage Club changed the whole dynamic of “the ask” by offering a softer approach to sensitive topics. Instead of bringing up, for instance, wills, Daggy explains, “It is easy to say, ‘Would you consider becoming a member of The Heritage Club?’” The recognition program also offered a way to keep promoting planned giving, so when the donor was ready, the message was fresh on their minds.

Nifty Fifty The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County is supported by two boards: the Board of Directors, which governs the organization, and the Board of Trustees, which manages the Club’s endowment fund. Daggy first approached the directors about establishing a Heritage Club. After policies and procedures were put in place, a planned giving committee was formed, with Trustee Kenneth Bane taking the helm. The committee created the Founding Fifty, an inaugural society to honor the first 50 members of their Heritage Club. To persuade others to join the Founding Fifty, Bane, Daggy, and Daggy’s wife, Maria, decided to lead by example. Bane, a retired banker who had been involved with the Club for nearly a decade, became the first member of the Founding Fifty. “It was easy to do,” says Bane. “I think others would also join The Heritage Club if they were invited to the Club to meet the kids. Seeing is believing.”

Untapped Potential For years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County in Richmond, Ind., experienced fundraising success through annual campaigns and face-to-face solicitations, but they had never been comfortable with the concept of planned giving. In 2004, as Club staff were contemplating new funding opportunities, a meeting with their BGCA planned giving director, Mike Johnson, changed their perceptions. 18

WINTER 2009/10

Executive Director Bruce Daggy (left) and Trustee Kenneth Bane with Joyce Johnson, the Club art instructor who painted the tree mural behind them; its leaves are inscribed with donors’ names.


$ Start Your Planned Giving Program Today!

Next, they encouraged those closest to the Club – both boards and staff – to be among the first to give. Today, more than half of trustees, one-third of board members and three full-time staff members all belong to The Heritage Club. One of the first people to join the Founding Fifty was Becky Rosa, a member of the Board of Trustees. For years, Rosa had been very committed to the Club, so much so that she brought family members into the facility so they could become involved. Rosa’s son, Bob, eventually became a member of The Heritage Club. In fact, he was the Club’s first donor to participate in BGCA’s Charitable Gift Annuity program. (Please visit the Fundraising/ Planned Giving section of for more information about the program.)

BGCA has a wide range of services to support Clubs’ planned giving efforts. Club staff can e-mail or visit to gain access to: • GiftLegacy and GiftLaw e-newsletters • Quarterly Legacy newsletter to Heritage Club members • Personalized presentations of income and tax benefits of various annuities • Trainings at national and regional BGCA events • On-site, one-on-one or phone consultations

Sadly, Rosa passed away earlier this year. As Club staff and volunteers mourned her loss, they were further moved by the realization that her longtime generosity was continuing to provide support. Rosa’s planned gift enabled the Board of Trustees to direct financial support toward Club programs, including its summer camp, and much-needed facility and vehicle maintenance.

Building on Success Club staff and board members in Wayne County continue to make planned giving success an organization-wide goal. With each passing year, the Club has increased its Heritage Club membership. Today, the organization has 61 Heritage Club members and an estimated $2.8 million in planned giving expectancies. And the numbers keep climbing. The success of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County’s efforts is a powerful example of the potential associated with planned giving programs. Establishing a planned giving program is an important way to create a pipeline for the future. For the Boys & Girls Club Movement, it could be a key factor in ensuring our ability to serve young people, communities and families for generations to come. Denita Morin is director of planned giving operations for BGCA.

A generous planned gift from a Club Trustee provided for numerous improvements to the summer camp, much to the delight of Club members.



A Super Legacy for Youth By Katy Griggs

Super Bowl XLIV, the National Football League’s biggest event of the 2009 season, is right around the corner. Most people associate this sports tradition with memorable maneuvers on the field, gatherings with friends and fun television ads. But unbeknownst to most football fans, not far from every Super Bowl game, the NFL fulfills its promise to make a difference in young lives with its NFL Youth Education Towns (NFL YETs). NFL YETs are education and recreation learning centers constructed in host cities. Each year, the NFL donates a $1 million Super Bowl Legacy Grant toward a new NFL YET. “The NFL is committed to improving the lives of children by providing a safe place that also connects them with responsible adults in the diverse communities where they live,” says Lynda Hamilton, manager of NFL Charities.

Proud Partnership

To ensure that every NFL YET opens and remains a viable force within its community, Super Bowl host committees are required to raise a matching local grant of $1 million and establish a 10-year operating plan that includes commitments from local partners and funding sources. In 2003, the NFL’s nonprofit arm, NFL Charities, enlisted the support of Boys & Girls Clubs of America to manage the national initiative. BGCA provides programs and staff training to all 13 NFL YET locations across the country. “In the world of youth program delivery and development, BGCA represents the highest operational standards,” says Hamilton. “NFL Charities is proud of this partnership.” NFL Charities and BGCA draw upon their strong community collaboration experience and brand 20

WINTER 2009/10

recognition to ensure that sites will be well-supported by their local communities.

Reinvesting in Success

Because Super Bowl XLIV will be held in South Florida, the NFL Legacy and its matching community grant will be evenly invested among the two existing NFL YETs in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. These grants will enable the sites to continue serving some 1,800 young people. “The long-term sustainability of each NFL YET is vitally important to NFL Charities. Therefore, reinvestment in existing NFL YETs is a logical approach when a Super Bowl returns to a previous host community,” says Hamilton. In the week leading up to the game, the NFL YETs in Fort Lauderdale and Miami will celebrate their NFL Legacy grants while the world watches. Resulting facility and program upgrades will be completed at both locations throughout the following year.

Year-round Support

The partnership doesn’t end with the Super Bowl. NFL Charities continues to provide supplemental programming grants, in-kind donations and NFL program incentives to boost the academic success and healthy lifestyles of youth. In May 2009, a special NFL YET opened in Honolulu in honor of the nearly 30 years that the Pro Bowl has been hosted by the Hawaiian community. It is the only NFL YET established outside of a Super Bowl host city. So, as you are watching the big game, remember the youth who will have access to opportunities for years to come – thanks to the Super Bowl and NFL Charities. Katy Griggs is editorial coordinator for BGCA.

The Fort Lauderdale NFL YET is one of two South Florida sites that will benefit from the Super Bowl Legacy Grant.

January is National Mentoring Month

Last May, a NFL YET opened in Honolulu, where the NFL Pro Bowl has been played for the past three decades.

Peer and adult mentors can make a significant difference in increasing academic success, fostering healthy lifestyles, and promoting good character and citizenship for young people. The opening festivities at the Hawaii NFL YET were steeped in local tradition.

Mentors give of their time all year long – let’s take time out in January to let our mentors know how much we appreciate all they do for Boys & Girls Clubs. There are many ways to recognize the mentors who make a difference for the young people your Club serves: • Host a special event honoring your mentors at your Club • Dedicate time for Club youth to write cards and notes of thanks to their mentors • Encourage others in the community to become mentors

For more information, visit the Federal Grants section on Pittsburgh Steeler LaMarr Woodley and youngsters from NFL YET Tampa Bay share a smile at a Super Bowl XLIII event.



2009 Scholarship Recipients Pacific Region

Northeast Region

Yesenia Aguilar, San Pedro, Calif.

John Bertollo, Hawthorne, N.J.

Justin Ahart, Bakersfield, Calif.

David Blagys, Southport, Conn.

Charmian Antkiewicz, San Pedro, Calif.

Tim Cepetelli, Southport, Conn.

Jack Benter, Las Vegas, Nev.

Victoria Copes, Hartford, Conn.

Patti Birmingham, Ventura, Calif. Debby Bott, Lewiston, Idaho Maggie Cushine, Bakersfield, Calif. Yesenia Diaz, Monterey Park, Calif. Margie Doran, El Verano, Calif. Michael Espinoza, Bakersfield, Calif. Pamela Estes, Laguna Beach, Calif. Jon Evans, Lewiston, Idaho Nancy Gregg, Ventura, Calif. Jade Hayes, Bellevue, Wash.

Joel E. Smilow Training Scholarships

Barry Hill, Bakersfield, Calif. Katie Holden, El Verano, Calif. Diane Kioranda, Ventura, Calif. Jim Kubiak, Lewiston, Idaho Mike Lansing, San Pedro, Calif. Michael Lebovitz, San Pedro, Calif. Jennifer Lee, Grants Pass, Ore.

Thanks to the Joel E. Smilow Training Scholarship Fund, Boys & Girls Clubs of America now offers even more opportunities to develop our Movement’s greatest resource: Club professionals. Initiated in January 2004, the fund provides approximately $200,000 in scholarships to support the development of full-time professionals every year. Smilow Training Scholarships enable qualified applicants to attend BGCA training events or conferences, giving them the opportunity to learn and develop their skills to make an even greater impact in their Clubs and on young people.

Licette Maldonado, Ventura, Calif.

This special opportunity is made possible by Joel Smilow, a longtime supporter of the Boys & Girls Club Movement. We are grateful to Mr. Smilow for his generosity in developing the talents and skills of Club professionals.

Natalie Martinez, Bakersfield, Calif. Tim Motts, Monterey Park, Calif. Bradley Overberg, Lewiston, Idaho Jason Pacheco, Las Vegas, Nev. David Pier, El Verano, Calif.

Chanel Cook, Akwesasne, N.Y. Thomas Demko, Hawthorne, N.J. Joanne Dunakin, Hawthorne, N.J. Cynthia Dunn, Newport, R.I. Joanne Hoops, Newport, R.I. Michael Hosier, Lodi, N.J. Barbara Knecht, Somerset, Pa. April Lauzon, Hogansburg, N.Y. Milford Liss, Camden, N.J. John Magna, Hawthorne, N.J. Donata Martin, Leominster, Mass. Michael Nardino, Lodi, N.J. Michele Palma, Hartford, Conn. Lauren Schmieg, Newport, R.I. Bernadette Shanahan, Camden, N.J. Kevin Simmons, Southport, Conn. Beth Simone, Newport, R.I. Shane Sudol, Lodi, N.J. Susan Taylor, Milford, N.H. Kristen Wimer, Aberdeen, Md. Sandra Young, Camden, N.J.

Southeast Region Diana Abraham, Norfolk, Va.

Emilia Quesada, San Pedro, Calif.

Jim Almond, Silver Spring, Md.

Michelle Ray, Laguna Beach, Calif.

Arlene Armentor-Bonner, Lafayette, La.

Frank Reyes, Monterey Park, Calif.

Derek Blake, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Jim Richards, Las Vegas, Nev.

Greg Boone, Starkville, Miss.

Derald Sidler, San Pedro, Calif.

Wayne Buchanan, Carthage, Miss.

Debbie Smith, Las Vegas, Nev.

Mike Burdine, Greenville, S.C.

Zane Smith, Bakersfield, Calif.

Johnny Byrd, Anniston, Ala.

Tony Tripp, San Pedro, Calif.

Reggie Carter, Norfolk, Va. Rita Cummins, Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Kathy Custus, Norfolk, Va. Jeremy Deming, Natchitoches, La.

For more information, please visit the Training & Professional Development section on


WINTER 2009/10

Sue Dempersmier, Sevierville, Tenn. Lynn Dorler, Port Charlotte, Fla. Carmina Eder, Danville, Va.

Tyren Frazier, Kilmarnock, Va.

Melanie Wiles, Fort Pierce, Fla.

Cristina Jaramillo, Belen, Texas

Monteka Freeman, Dothan, Ala.

LaKeisha Williams, Natchitoches, La.

Lois Jones, Henderson, Texas

Laurie Gibbons, Roanoke, Va.

Mike Williams, Jackson, Ga.

Greg Kimbrough, Greeley, Colo.

Mary Hayes, Natchitoches, La.

Willemina Williams, Goldsboro, N.C.

Michelle Latimer, Montrose, Colo.

Crawford Henley, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Joyce Wilson, Gainesville, Ga.

Christopher Linzza, El Campo, N.M.

Bernard Heyward, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Michelle Wright, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Peggy McAlister, Henderson, Texas

Rosalind Hudson, Natchitoches, La.

Nancy Miller, Glendive, Mont.

Beth Jennings, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Midwest Region

Dan Jernigan, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Sara Antonson, Eau Claire, Wis.

Tom Parisi, Greeley, Mont.

Danielle Johnson, Atlanta, Ga.

Jarret Baker, New Town, N.D.

Pamela Peck, Nowata, Okla.

Leah Lamb, Silver Spring, Md.

Sue Bliese, West Bend, Wis.

Pat Phillips, Pryor, Colo.

William Lampley, Atlanta, Ga.

Emy Carlson, Watertown, S.D.

Greg Pickman, Atchison, Colo.

Julie Landreneau, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands

Kathleen Christenson, West Bend, Wis.

Laura Reagan-Porras, McAllen, Texas

Bruce Daggy, Richmond, Ind.

E. Lynn Lejeune, Lafayette, La.

Mary Robertson, Alamosa, Colo.

Mike Desmond, La Crosse, Wis.

Lorenzo Lockett, Fort Pierce, Fla.

Misty Sanders, Wilson, Okla.

Ryan Eagle, New Town, N.D.

John Mack, Norfolk, Va.

Jack Schneider, Fairplay, Colo.

Jay Fisher, West Bend, Wis.

Tyrell McElroy, Roanoke, Va.

Carolyn Schroth, Buffalo, Wyo.

Wendy Franke, Sparta, Wis.

Debbie McGaughey, Norfolk, Va.

Henry Shaw, Paris, Okla.

Heath Heggelund, Watertown, S.D.

Michelle Nadeem, Waynesboro, Va.

Sarah Sifers, Sidney, Mont.

Scott Hood, Tomah, Wis.

Angel Nelson, Norfolk, Va.

Dawn Slabaugh, Broken Bow, Okla.

Todd Johnson, Duluth, Minn.

Altha Newman, Dothan, Ala.

Krista Solomon, Havre, Mont.

Marcia Kane, Duluth, Minn.

Donald Nodtvedt, Danville, Va.

Christine Taylor, Pryor, Texas

Larry Kent, Rochester, Minn.

Jessica Page, Sevierville, Tenn.

Kristin Yocum, Greeley, Colo.

Jessica Kuczkowski, West Bend, Wis.

Neesha Patel, Charleston, S.C.

Jodi Millerbernd, Rochester, Minn.

Michelle Pauley, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Overseas Military Services

Jim Perrault, Duluth, Minn.

Mckinzy Best, Japan

Norman Penner, Fort Pierce, Fla.

Sarah Resch, Tomah, Wis.

Cathy Catling, Japan

Clara Phillips, Pensacola, Fla.

Lisa Sagdalen, Hill City, S.D.

Robert Chance, Japan

Robert Pimentel, Norfolk, Va.

Heather Tjaden, Grand Island, Neb.

Donghee Kelley, Korea

Anitra Pregiato, Norfolk, Va.

Ranie White, New Town, N.D.

Cathy Knapp, Italy

Amos Quick, Greensboro, N.C.

Chris Wiegert, Watertown, S.D.

Ervin Lawrence, Japan

Jill Redman, Atlanta, Ga.

Audrey Mills, Broken Bow, Okla.

Ann Leach, Japan

London Reeves, Fort Pierce, Fla.

Southwest Region

Mark Ross, Sevierville, Tenn.

Sara Berndt, Sidney, Mont.

Jeannine Ragonese, Korea

Laura Ruffin, Atlanta, Ga.

Mary Jane Borlang, Havre, Mont.

SuChin Rice, Japan

Lanneau Siegling, Charleston, S.C.

Tim Brurud, Havre, Mont.

Miguel Rodriguez, Japan

Nate Spera, Fort Pierce, Fla.

Vivian Caldwell, Hillsboro, Texas

Robert Santana, Japan

Diane Stockard, Smyrna, Tenn.

Zach Dean, Alma, Kan.

Amylisa Sasaki, Japan

Brenda Stokes, Fort Pierce, Fla.

Mike Garcia, McAllen, Texas

Deirdre Wren, Japan

Troy Strother, Charleston, S.C.

Brad Greer, Paris, Texas

Randy Tate, McComb, Miss.

Maggie Gurley, Pryor, Texas

Marcus Thompson, Waynesboro, Va.

Brett Haydin, Salida, Colo.

Greg Tolbert, Spartanburg, S.C.

Wendi Hildreth, Paris, Okla.

Troy Trout, Tupelo, Miss.

Jose Jaime, El Paso, Ark.

Jonathon Lester, Japan



columns View From The Potomac

Deepening Our Impact and Broadening Our Reach: Our Plan for 2010

By Kevin McCartney

No one can deny that 2009 was a challenging year for our government. From an unprecedented financial crisis that threatened all institutions to the general displacement that comes with a transition from one administration to the next, 2009 presented many hurdles.


WINTER 2009/10

View From The Potomac Yet despite these circumstances, Boys & Girls Clubs of America secured $44.4 million from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. This funding came at a truly critical time for our Clubs, and the children and families they serve. We are sincerely grateful to the U.S. Department of Justice and the members of the Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee for their support. If 2009 taught us nothing else, it confirmed the need to be diversified in our approach to federal government funding. While the Department of Justice has been, and will continue to be, our most reliable source – and also the department with the strongest allegiance to BGCA – it can no longer be our only source of federal funding. In recognition of this reality, the Government Relations strategy for 2010 focuses on diversifying BGCA’s resources in the coming years. Our goal is to broaden our reach to ensure that Boys & Girls Clubs will be at the table whenever discussions about the needs of America’s youth occur.

Reaching Out to Old Friends, Making New Ones By fostering new relationships in such areas as education and dropout prevention; health, wellness and obesity prevention; or more traditional areas such as mentoring and juvenile delinquency, Government Relations will focus on deepening our programmatic impact and broadening our exposure to more agencies. A key part of the strategy involves reaching out to old friends who are in new places, such as former Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar, now Secretary of the Department of Interior; Attorney General Eric Holder, who visited our Challengers Club in Los Angeles in July; and, of course, Vice President Joe Biden, who was one of our fiercest champions when he was in the U.S. Senate. By re-engaging these critical supporters in different ways, we are poised to take full advantage of the many leadership changes in Washington. We’ve also begun discussions about relevant policy issues with other new Cabinet members. For example, we’re talking about how Clubs can play an important ongoing role in the educational continuum with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. In much the same way, we anticipate having discussions about how our Clubs can influence healthy lifestyles with Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. We plan to use a similar approach in discussions with Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack. In addition, Government Relations intends to hold talks with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan regarding Clubs in public housing and the special challenges facing young people who live in


those environments. We also hope to facilitate discussions about other potential resources for our nation’s children with leaders from departments such as Homeland Security, Commerce and Transportation. Finally, given the Obama administration’s interest in and natural inclination toward encouraging volunteerism and community service, it is imperative that we accelerate and promote our partnerships in communities across the country. In the coming year, therefore, we intend to place more emphasis on our long-standing relationships with AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Moving Forward Fiscal Year 2010 also brings some necessary legislative changes that we must address as an organization. As many of you know, BGCA’s authorization to receive federal funding will expire at the end of 2010. We have already begun discussions with U.S. Senators Leahy, Hatch and Sessions to provide us with the sponsorship needed for our reauthorization. As we collaborate on the drafting of this legislative reappropriation, it is yet another opportunity to engage our elected champions and further emphasize BGCA’s unique perspective as the preeminent youth development organization in the country. Ultimately, our objective for 2010 is to make the case for inclusion in the President’s 2011 federal budget. Such a placement would represent an ideal scenario, and one that we will continue to broach with the administration and other Cabinet members throughout the year.

A Movement-wide Effort None of this will be possible, however, without the active participation and engagement of all Boys & Girls Clubs. The old adage, “All politics is local,” is as true today as when it was first coined. To implement the strategy we have outlined and realize the programmatic and, ultimately, financial impact we intend, Clubs must continue to cultivate their local relationships with elected officials. Such engagement is critical to our success both locally and as a national organization. While we have our work cut out for us in 2010, we also believe that the coming year will bring many possibilities for BGCA. It is our hope that, by engaging a diverse group of government leaders in discussions about issues facing our nation’s youth, we’ll be able to increase our advocacy for all Boys & Girls Clubs – and the children and families who need them most. For information about how to cultivate relationships with local officials, please visit the Government Relations section on Kevin McCartney is senior vice president of Government Relations for BGCA.



columns Excellence in Action

Creating Hope and Opportunity in Fresno Clubs in public housing make community-wide impact

Arlene Mendoza is director of operations for Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County.

• In Fresno County, 20 percent of births are to girls 19 years old and younger. This dire combination of gangs, crime, lack of education, unemployment and premature parenting has led to a high poverty rate. Fresno’s public housing complexes were similarly troubled.

Clubs Come to Complexes

Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County

In 1992, the Housing Authorities of the City and County of Fresno invited the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County to participate in their Drug Elimination Funding by opening Clubs in three of their complexes. Because those Clubs brought positive change to their communities, the housing authority asked us to open more Clubs at some of their other sites. Today, although the Drug Elimination Funding has since been cut, we have nine Clubs that are either fully or partially funded by the housing authority. In the next year, they plan to include funding to open a Club in another complex.

For more than two decades, Boys & Girls Clubs have created a positive presence in some of the most challenging neighborhoods in our nation – public housing facilities. Today, there are some 440 Clubs located in public housing communities across the country. Our success in this area has been due to the generous support of friends like the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. In 2010, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County will mark its 18th year of successful collaboration with the local housing authority. The Fresno organization is a stellar example of the positive, community-wide impact Boys & Girls Clubs can have in a public housing community. Located in the heart of a large agricultural region, Fresno is three hours south of San Francisco and three hours north of Los Angeles. It is a culturally and ethnically diverse area, populated by Hmong and Laotian immigrants, migrant farm workers, multi-generational Hispanic families, AfricanAmericans and Caucasians. According to the Brookings Institution, the Fresno area has the dubious distinction of having the highest concentration of urban poverty in the country. Consider these alarming local demographics: • The city is home to some 8,000 gang members.


• Some neighborhoods have unemployment rates as high as 32 percent.

By Diane Carbray and Arlene Mendoza

Organization Profile Founded: 1949 Budget: $2.1 million Facilities: 17 units Annual membership: 5,740 members; 12,580 youth served Diane Carbray is assistant executive director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County.

• The dropout rate at city high schools is 51 percent.

WINTER 2009/10

Since establishing these Clubs, the Fresno housing authority has seen a reduction in the number of petty crimes, burglaries, graffiti and general chaos. At a rural complex in Del Rey, Calif., the sheriff told our unit director, “It was like the O.K. Corral every night” until the Boys & Girls Club opened. Janie Reyna, property manager for the Del Rey complex, agrees. “When I lived in Del Rey, it was too dangerous to go out in the streets,” she says. “Since the Club opened, the streets are much safer, and families can walk around at night.”

Filling a Great Need Housing authority commissioners and staff are steadfast in their commitment to making Clubs accessible to their residents. Our Club and housing authority staffs meet together regularly and have built trusting relationships. The partnership between the Club and housing authority has put prevention and mentoring programs literally at the front door of children’s homes. Three locations are full-facility buildings next to large housing complexes; the other six sites operate in vacant units – bedrooms are turned into libraries or computer labs and living rooms become games rooms. Every year, Club staff track grades and school attendance for 10 members at each of the nine sites. Last year, all 90 Club members moved on to the next

Excellence in Action grade level. At our Huron Club last June, 18 members graduated with their class, and one completed his GED. These Club teens represented approximately one-third of the 60 graduates from the area. The Club helped these young people set high expectations for their future.

Parents, Teens Get Involved Getting parents involved has been an important part of this collaboration. Parents have found allies in Club staff; they trust staff who speak their language, help them with paperwork, refer them to services and talk to them about their children’s education. Many parents have had limited schooling, and are pleased to see their children completing their homework. Teens who were previously bullied or pressured into joining gangs have found a safe haven at the Club and now think of it as a cool place to hang out. They have special late hours or space just for them. They have a voice in their Club activities and plan events. They give back to their communities by cleaning up trash or serving at potluck dinners. They build their character and leadership skills through activities such as Keystone Club. Their lives are no longer filled with negative influences, but hope and opportunity. “We have witnessed the direct impact of these valuable services,” says Preston Prince, executive director of the Housing Authorities of the City and County of Fresno. “These kids have successfully left public housing in pursuit of higher education and employment opportunities.”


Inspiring a Sense of Purpose At age 13, José was a self-described alcoholic who lived in an East Fresno public housing complex. His home life was marred by domestic violence and alcoholism and he lived in constant fear. José tried to escape his reality by drinking and smoking pot. By the time he was 15, he was failing five out of seven classes and engaging in petty crimes. One day his younger brother told him to stop by the Club, a place he had passed many times but never bothered to enter. A staff member welcomed him and talked about what teens were doing there. José’s life changed almost instantly. Finally, the teen felt needed, that he had something useful to offer. He stopped drinking and using drugs. José says the Club gave him a purpose in life and a sense of direction. It also helped him improve his grades and graduate high school on time. Without the Club, he says, he never could have accomplished his dream of becoming a U.S. Marine. Today at the age of 21, José is a leader in the Marines. The Fresno Club changed his life.

“Young people like José emphasize the importance of our partnership with the housing authority,” says Kenneth Quenzer, the Fresno Club’s president. “This collaboration saves young lives and gives them hope.”







Avoidance Strategies

Is Your Organization Vulnerable?

Real Situations. Real Solutions. The Case of the Convenient Contractor


At the time, it seemed like the best way to get the job done. Years of deferred facility maintenance at the Central Boys & Girls Club finally resulted in more than $200,000 in urgent repairs and upgrades, including weatherization and asbestos abatement projects. By the beginning of the summer, it became evident that the work could not be postponed through the next winter. Given the wide range of work to be undertaken, the Club would have to be closed for at least 60 days. The board knew they had to act quickly before the school year began in September. Fortunately, a board member owned Excalibur Construction, one of the few local construction firms capable of organizing and completing such a diverse project within the 60-day timeframe. After receiving a detailed estimate, the board approved hiring Excalibur without requiring other bids. As promised, the work was completed on budget and on time. When the organization later submitted its annual Form 990 to the Internal Revenue Service, it included the mandatory statement regarding the “related party transaction” with Excalibur. The Club was


WINTER 2009/10

Want to Learn More ?

also required to state that it had adopted certain governance policies, such as increased oversight and higher standards of accountability. Eventually, the IRS inquired as to whether the arrangement qualified as an excess benefit transaction. Such a transaction occurs when the economic benefit provided – either directly or indirectly – by a taxexempt organization, to or for the use of a disqualified person, exceeds the value of the consideration received. Since Excalibur’s owner was a board member, he was considered a disqualified person. The Club responded, explaining that Excalibur had shown a discounted profit and overhead in its original proposal and had not exceeded the project budget. The IRS subsequently asked for detailed facts to show the work was proposed and completed at or below “fair market value.” After considering the organization’s explanation, the IRS concluded the transaction was an “excess benefit transaction” between the Club and board member. The result was that both the Club and Excalibur Construction would have to expend considerable time and effort to disprove the IRS’s conclusion.

The Managing Risk column is sponsored by

Avoidance Strategies YIELD

This situation may have been avoided if:

• The organization used an annual independent auditor prior to submitting Form 990 to the IRS. • The organization had a conflict of interest policy that established standards for entering into transactions with related parties. Examples of standards include: • Compensation for the product or service is at or below fair market value. • The proposed contracting party must abstain from discussion of and voting on the transaction. • All decision-makers must be fully aware of the relationship. • Any conflict of interest must be disclosed in writing.

Is Your Organization Vulnerable? Use these questions to generate discussions with your board and staff: • Does your organization have a conflict of interest policy? • Does your conflict of interest policy include standards to determine if a transaction gives, or appears to give, excess value to a provided product or service? • Have you identified possible conflicts of interest that may exist due to products or services provided by “disqualified persons,” such as board members, directors, high-level employees, major donors – or a relative of any of them?

Want to Learn More? These publications are available on the Club Safety & Design page on

• Standard Practices for Ethics and Financial Oversight: The Boys & Girls Club Way • Financial Management Self-Assessment Tool: A Guide to Evaluate Your Fiscal Effectiveness In addition, visit for current forms, online help, Webinars and other resources for nonprofit organizations. For more information about ethics and financial oversight, please contact Dennis Dolbee, director of Club financial services for BGCA, at



New and Improved!

d the National Club family to atten rls Gi & th ys Bo e th mbers of erence will open wi To enable more me s for 2010. The conf ge an ay ch M big ay, sd me ne so made of Wed Conference, we’ve ony on the evening me Induction Cerem Fa by Club members of t all en H nm ni tai um ter Al en the ration featuring eb cel g sin clo a th 12, and end wi ay 14. ations on Friday, M and awards present le in early February. tion will be availab ma or inf ion rat ist and reg Conference preview tails. de for t .ne ca bg Watch

Connections Winter 2009  

Born to Celebrating Our 2009-10 Youth of the Year Winners. Connections is published quarterly by Boys & Girls Clubs of America. It is distri...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you