As summer is winding down and the beginning of the school year approaches, we are excited to be supporting an invaluable organization in Dane County for the month of August. Our August Organization of the Month is the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County (BGCDC)--an organization that has transformed and continues to positively impact the lives of thousands of kids of all ages.
So what does the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County do?
BGCDC is a leader in youth development programs in Dane County through their partnerships throughout the community. Through these programs we will ensure positive outcomes for young people, families and communities.
What is something the BGCDC does that few people or less people know about?
Many people are familiar with BGCDC in terms of what happens at the clubs and all of the great work that the staff does with the kids. What they don’t see is the planning and care that BGCDC staff puts into each day, program, and child that they serve. They are constantly working to ensure great futures for each and every young person. Through securing scholarships, jobs, internships, helping them enter college, providing support throughout their college experience, BGCDC staff is dedicated to ensuring each young person will reach their full potential.
How can I get involved with BGCDC?
There are so many routes to becoming involved with BGCDC. They constantly have events where volunteer help is much appreciated. You could also become a mentor to students in the AVID/TOPS program. Raising money and donating funds or items when needed are also a huge help. For example, this month they have their 2nd Annual Back2School Backpack Giveaway. They are planning on giving away 3000 backpacks and school supplies to those young people in our community that need it. BGCDC is working hard to secure all those items and look toward community members for support in donating these goods.
How can community groups and businesses partner with BGCDC in a meaningful way?
There are numerous opportunities for community groups and businesses to partner with BGCDC. This can take the form of sponsoring events, having employees volunteer, or having internships available for BGCDC club members. BGCDC actively looks for partners in the community to create new programs or add to existing programs to benefit their members. That being said, businesses and community groups don’t need to wait for BGCDC to contact them! If you’d like to partner, reach out and they will help direct you to the right person.
How does the AVID/TOPS program achieve such an incredible results?
The high intensity partnership that BGCDC has with MMSD definitely helps. This really allows BGCDC to define goals and create collaborative efforts where all parties can achieve their goals. By being able to be in the schools directly working with the students during their class time, BGCDC is able to more effectively assist them in their daily needs. The AVID/TOPS programming has proven to be successful through multiple credible studies in improving GPA, graduation rates, and other statistics. The commitment of BGCDC staff and teachers is a crucial factor in how great this program is. The dedication they have to seeing these students succeed is unparalleled and this program really couldn’t succeed without them.
What is Star Credit Union and how does it connect with the vision of the BGCDC?
STAR Credit Union was created in 2005 with the mission to instill financial literacy and responsibility in their members by providing access to financial services and the opportunity to participate in the development and operation of the credit union. Members learn the importance of savings, earn great incentives and participate in programs that teach everything from budgeting to investing to entrepreneurship. It is a wonderful resource for BGCDC members and an incredible tool for young people to learn from.
What do short and long term goals look like for the organization in future years?
In the short term, BGCDC looks to continue their work in improving the lives of those in our community and securing bright futures for young people. In the long term, they have set a goal of transforming the lives of 10,000 young people annually by 2021 with 90% of their active members on track to graduate from high school and prepared for post-secondary opportunities. They will accomplish this through a number of strategic priorities such as fostering value-added partnerships to connect members to meaningful opportunities.
What is the greatest need of the BGCDC right now?
BGCDC is always looking to form new partnerships throughout the community. They are also looking to find new financial resources to create quality experiences for new members as well as to improve existing programs. BGCDC is also looking for opportunities to expand throughout Dane County so they can truly help as many people as possible.