Mission: The Mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County (BGCMC) is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. Our goals are to promote the social, educational, health, leadership, and character development of boys and girls during critical periods of their growth. We accomplish our purpose by providing children with:
? A safe place to learn and grow along with peers of other races and national backgrounds- a refuge from the outside ethnic-based gang environment;
? Ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals who demonstrate appropriate behaviors, set limits, encourage positive activities and teamwork, and give them confidence to provide positive role models for their peers and for younger children;
? Life-enhancing programs and character development experiences such as field trips to cultural and educational organizations, help with homework and understanding its relevance for their future, opportunities to learn to use computers, teaching what they have learned to younger members, and applauding their successes; and
? Hope and opportunity for the future. We show children pathways to better education and jobs, bringing in volunteers from local colleges and universities to encourage and work with them. We guide children to set goals and take the steps to achieve them. We help children avoid pitfalls, such as early pregnancy and drug abuse, which will impede their progress.
Programs: Our clubhouses, located in medford, cambridge, somerville & everett served nearly 1,500 youth each year. As of july 1, 2015, we closed our programs in cambridge and everett and now serve 400 youth per year in medford and somerville. We provide a safe haven for young people during the most dangerous hours of the day. For many of our members, the boys & girls club is the only place that they can count on to help them complete their homework, to learn to develop a positive self image, use the computer, develop positive social skills, and set personal goals. Kids engage in safe and positive activities and get the attention, guidance, and encouragement they deserve.
I've been involved with Boys and Girls Clubs since college, ranging from front-line help to program founder ("Chess 4 Kids") to the past Vice Chair of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Middlesex County. Even more than other clubs, the BGCMC system serves as whatever part of a family that its members don't have. That can range from a full slate of family responsibilities - a safe environment, people in whom to confide, role models, growth-spurring challenges, homework assistance - to minor things with which even "great" families may not have experience - a place to play an instrument, learn a sport, practice yoga. In so doing, the BGCMC can save the lives of at-risk children and provide a springboard for healthy, productive lives for all of its members. It's an organization of which I'm thrilled to be a small part.