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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Boys & Girls Clubs, Children & Youth

Mission: To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. For more information, visit www.boysandgirls.org.

Results: Our relationship with the communities we serve is enduring and impactful. It starts with the positive influence our program has on youth in the community who become members, expands as they participate in volunteer and service initiatives, and extends into the future as they become leaders in their own communities. Our K-12 programming is designed to give every child the opportunity to reach their full potential and have choice in their future. In Fiscal Year 2018, our dedicated team of 84 staff members and 1,200 volunteers delivered BGCTC programs and services to 8,398 unduplicated Twin Cities youth. This includes youth who participated in Club events, activities, or Voyageur programming during the fiscal year. In our Academic Success programs, 306 Club members were enrolled in the Literacy Program; 94% of students who received literacy instruction from November to May made positive gains in cumulative test scores. 733 youth participated in STEM enrichment activities (STEM stations, Chess Club, SciGirls, My.Future, Robotics Team, and STEM Mentoring); and 442 youth participated in performing or studio arts programming, including crafts, visual, literary and performing arts projects, art exhibits, talent shows, and performances at community events. In Teen Pathways, 241 teens completed the Goals for Graduation program (academic goal setting); 274 teens were trained in job skills through Career Launch; 237 youth completed the Money Matters curriculum for training in financial literacy; 25 Career Day events were hosted by local business professionals; 98% of teens reported they maintained an appropriate grade level for their age; 96% reported they expect to complete some post-secondary education or trade school; and 176 Club seniors graduated from high school, up 65% over the previous year. In Good Character & Leadership programming, 124 teens participated in Keystone Club; 58 teens participated in Torch Club; 53 teens were involved with community service projects; 62% of youth and teens surveyed volunteered in their local Club and/or in their community at least once a month; 80% of teen members reported they spent time working on projects with other people to help the community; and 84% believed they could make a difference in their communities. In Healthy Lifestyles programming, BGCTC provided 157,722 healthy meals and snacks to Club members; 803 youth were served nutritious meals and snacks each day; 944 youth participated in fitness and social recreation programs; 1,069 youth participated in sports leagues; 60% of Club members ages 9 and older reported getting at least one hour of physical activity five or more days per week; 167 male teens participated in Passport to Manhood; 473 female teens participated in Skills Mastery and Resistance Training (SMART) Girls; 861 youth attended programming at Voyageur Environmental Center; and 86 youth attended hands-on kitchen safety and cooking/nutrition classes.

Target demographics: at-risk youth and teens, ages 5-18, in the Twin Cities metro area.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 8,398 unduplicated Twin Cities youth.

Geographic areas served: targeted Saint Paul and Minneapolis communities that are racially and ethnically diverse, have high populations of intergenerational poverty, and are challenged both economically and socially, with concentrated pockets of intense need.

Programs: Academic Success, Good Character & Leadership, and Healthy Lifestyles programs. With service dating back to 1926, the Saint Paul and Minneapolis Clubs broadened their reach through the 1999 merger that formed the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities (BGCTC). Since then, we’ve worked to extend our reach, growing to eight metro area Clubs and one environmental learning center, Voyageur, located just west of the Twin Cities in Mound, Minnesota. BGCTC Clubs are located in communities that are racially and ethnically diverse and have high populations of intergenerational poverty. By locating Clubs within these communities, we provide vital access to meaningful programs and caring adult mentors within a safe, welcoming environment for some of the most at-risk youth in the metro area. Club membership is a reflection of the make-up of each neighborhood served. BGCTC programs are designed to intervene early and keep youth on track toward high school graduation with a plan for the future. Programs are offered for youth ages 5-18 after school and during extended daytime hours over the summer months, Monday through Friday. Staff members, many of whom have dedicated their careers to BGCTC’s youth, provide consistent guidance while delivering high-yield, outcome-driven programs in individual, small group, and large group settings. We offer tested, proven, and nationally recognized programs in three “pillars of success” outcome areas that closely align with the developmental needs of the youth we serve: Academic Success, Good Character & Leadership, and Healthy Lifestyles. Programs are driven by the research-based Clover Model of youth development that highlights four essential social and emotional learning elements needed for youth to thrive, learn, and develop: Active Engagement, Assertiveness, Belonging, and Reflection. Current programs are as follows: The Academic Success strategy assists young people TO SUCCEED in academics, providing youth opportunities for educational enhancement, career exploration, and augmented learning in literacy, finance, arts, and technology. Core programs include: Power Hour (homework help and tutoring for ages 5-18), Literacy Program (reading program and literacy enrichment for K-3), STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math enrichment for ages 5-18), The Arts (studio and performing arts for ages 5-18), Goals for Graduation (academic goal setting for ages 6-15), Numeracy for grades 4-6 beginning in fall 2018, and Teen Pathways field-based learning experiences for teens as they prepare to graduate high school, including Money Matters (financial literacy for ages 13-18) and Career Launch/Job Ready! (job skills/job search techniques and career exploration and mentoring for ages 13-18). The Good Character & Leadership strategy encourages youth TO BE ENGAGED by providing character, leadership, and service learning opportunities to Club members. Programs encourage youth to develop planning and decision-making skills by supporting and influencing their Club and community. Core programs include: Torch Club (small group leadership and service club for ages 11-13), Keystone Club (leadership development and community service club for ages 14-18), FOX Sports North (FSN) All-Stars (Club participation, positive behavior, and good sportsmanship incentives program for ages 8-13), Youth of the Year (BGCTC’s premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club teens), and UPS Road Code, a partnership between The UPS Foundation and BGCA providing a free-to-attend driver’s education program teaching teenagers safe driving practices. The Healthy Lifestyles strategy develops young people’s capacity TO LIVE HEALTHFULLY by educating youth about fitness, nutrition and smart health decisions. Activities focus on instilling positive conflict resolution techniques, encouraging positive behaviors, setting personal goals, and building resistance skills that nurture and strengthen kids’ minds and bodies. Core programs include: Passport to Manhood (promotes and teaches responsibility to boys ages 8-17), Skills Mastery and Resilience Training (SMART) Girls (small-group health and fitness education and self-esteem enhancement program for girls ages 5-18, presented in three age groups), Kids Feeding Kids (nutrition program, cooking classes, and gardening activities for ages 5-18), Triple Play (health & wellness initiative for ages 6-18 focusing on physical activity, good nutrition, and healthy relationships), Voyageur (residential camp and environmental education program for ages 6-18), and Sports (recreation and sports leagues for ages 6-18).

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a Board Member of the Clubs I am extremely proud of the great work Club staff are doing to help Twin Cities youth excel in all that they do, including continually increasing reading, writing, and math skills - which directly translates into high graduation rates and post secondary advancement. What a pleasure it is to be involved in such an impactful and important charity.

Bryan D.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love my work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities. They have very impactful programming in the inner city. Additionally, they are great stewards of the funds that get donated by my organization.

Jim F.6

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined this organization almost 18 years ago, not fully understanding the impact we had on our kids in the Twin Cities Clubs. The one thing I was clearly committed to was finding an organization that was focused on kids and one that could impact their future. Today I am truly convinced beyond any doubt that our clubs and our staff have changed lives. And the reason for that is very simple. We provide "best in class programs" along with adult mentorship by our staff. I am not referring to "swim and gym", but specifically designed programs adapted to the specific age group of our kids. We are having a positive impact on the 800+ kids who walk through the doors of our clubs everyday. I am constantly inspired by our kids and our staff. I am more committed than ever to this organization, not because of what we say we do, but the actual outcomes and impact we have on our kids. We also have an incredibly committed group of board members that support our kids and staff.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the course of the past fourteen years as a weekly volunteer with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities, I have had the opportunity to witness the positive impact this organization and staff have had on the youth of our community. As an organization, the strength and impact of their programming, coupled with authentic, caring and humble staff, they are a beacon for youth and their families. With an organization mission to provide a safe, positive, and fun environment for youth, they have demonstrated their commitment to being a responsive and engaged community partner. I am very proud to spend time volunteering each week at an organization where serving the youth comes first.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I would give Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities 10 stars if I could! As a volunteer and member of the BGCTC Associate Board I've witnessed firsthand the Clubs' impact on the lives our youth in the Twin Cities. The programming the Clubs offer provides the Club kids with life skills, education, and character traits that I wish our school systems would teach every kid as they mature. Not to mention the simple fact that the Clubs provide a safe place for our youth to go to after school and during the summer months. There are things that these kids do that most adults in their 30s and 40s would not do or would be scared to do (public speaking in front of 500 people for instance!), all because BGCTC motivates these kids to seek their full potential and strive for what they believe in. Also, because the Club staff tells the Club kids that they can achieve it if they put in the effort and make the right choices. There is no doubt that the Clubs change lives - they help our youth graduate from high school, get good paying jobs, go to college, and realize that they accomplish whatever they set their minds to. OUTSTANDING WORK BEING DONE HERE!

Dan G.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When growing up in Minneapolis by 11th and Franklin, the Boys Club was my safe place. I spent countless hours at the club playing sports, learning about the wood shop playing checkers and singing in the Boys Club Choir which was some of my fondest memories. I remember in great detail the night we sang at the Premier of the Sound of Music at the Mann theater in downtown Minneapolis. (Still know all the lyrics) My experiences there had a profound effect on my life and gave me a true appreciation of all who hung out there as kids and young adults. It was an experience that I believe would greatly benefit all kids as they grow up.

Sincerely
Dan Gustafson
Burnsville City Council
And former alum of the Blaisdale Club in Minneapolis.

Lamah B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an alumnus of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities. I was a club kid for 8 years, and I still go back and volunteer at my local Boys & Girls Club. The Boys & Girls Club has saved my life and made me the man that I am today. I have learned leadership, communication, and personal skills from the Boys & Girls Club that I still use today. I am in college because of the mentors I had at the club, they were and still are my roles models, my go-to people, and most importantly the family that I never imagine I would have. I am a former Keystone leadership program president, and because I got the opportunity to serve as a leader at such young age in the clubs, it has encouraged me to become a leader everywhere I go. I am currently in my 3rd year of college, and I would've made it this far without the support and the unconditional love of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.

-Lamah Bility


Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the Board of the Clubs for over 20 years. I have seen hundreds of young lives changed for the better by the Clubs and their amazing staff that works with the Club kids every day. In the last two to three years, I have seen the Clubs dramatically improve the effectiveness of their programming, especially in the areas of literacy and teen pathways. What I like best about the Clubs is the high standard that they hold the kids to. Those high expectations result in high accomplishments for the Club kids.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The high rating reflects the outstanding work and commitment towards making a meaningful and long lasting impact on kids, increasing their opportunities and ultimately changing their lives.
The B&G Clubs of the Twin Cities does a remarkable work reaching out and aligning the support of the broader community, including the business community of the Twin Cities towards its goals

Board Member

Rating: 5

My volunteer work with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities started about 4 years ago. Every year I continue with them I become even more and more passionate and impressed with what their mission is and their amazing work provides for our youth. By trade, I am a teacher and know the extremely high need for organizations like this one for our youth. I have had the opportunity to serve on their young professional's board, The Associate Board, to find ways to fundraise, volunteer, and make connections for and with our youth. The staff at the BGCTC are absolutely incredible, their passion, knowledge, drive, and love for their students are amazing. Not only do I get to witness first hand the positive impact this non-profit has on our youth, but it has also had such an incredible impact on me. The clubs love to show community members what they are all about if you ever get the chance set up a time to tour a club, volunteer with the youth, or talk with one of their many incredible employees.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My work with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities started in 2015. Our company asked us to pick one of the 5 non-profits the company supported as a cause to bring awareness to. I loved working with kids, so the BGC seemed like a good fit. Was it ever! For the next two years, I volunteered once per week at the Club, teaching dance to elementary aged kids. The kids in the dance class practiced the routine weekly, then performed it for an audience at an event later in the year. Seeing how nervous and excited and proud they were of themselves was something I'll never forget. I also emceed several evens for the Clubs over the years, which is how I got involved with the Associate Board. Now, 3 years later, I'm secretary of our Board which allows me to meet even more of the incredible people that make the BGCTC the fantastic organization it is. Every dime we raise goes towards creating a better future for our kids in our communities - and boy do these kids deserve it. I'm so fortunate to be able to be a part of this group and highly recommend others in the Twin Cities that are looking to get involved in their community check out BGCTC! - Kendall Kolinski

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been doing work with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities for over five years and continue to be more and more impressed with the impact they have on the youth who need the support in our community. I have the pleasure of working with a group of young professionals that is organized by BGCTC and get together monthly to come up with ways to help impact our youth, whether it be through fundraising, volunteerism, etc. The Clubs are always looking for new ways and ideas to keep improving the lives of these kids, while maybe most importantly providing a safe environment. In the end, the impact on me personally and professionally has been unbelievable and I only hope I can make as big of an impact on the Clubs but continuing to support this great cause.