The Community Foundation Believes in the Work of Boys and Girls Club
Most adults wouldn’t bet that a girl who grew up in a housing project would win a full scholarship to Ohio State University, her first step on the way to becoming a pediatrician. Yet, at Boys & Girls Clubs, whose motto is “Be Great”, this story comes as no surprise. “Our mission,” says Mike Conibear, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Lorain County, “is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring responsible citizens.”
Boys & Girls Club of Lorain County opened in Oberlin in 1999. Today, in a climate of struggling nonprofit organizations, Boys & Girls Club is truly a success story, operating programs at seven community sites around the county and at ten Lorain City Schools and Prospect Elementary in Elyria. Community sites include the former Pleasant Street School in Oberlin, three Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority sites in Elyria and Lorain, St. Stanislaus Teen Center in Lorain, and the new Nordson Community Center in Elyria. Over 4,000 youth are served at these eighteen locations with over fifteen percent participating in teen-specific programs for those thirteen and older. Clubs are open 7:00 AM until 9:00 PM Monday through Friday and have additional hours on Saturdays during the school year.
Having a safe, nurturing environment before and after school where character and education are valued not only benefits students academically, with over ninety percent of Club members graduating from high school, but it saves lives. According to a study by Harris Interactive for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, fifty-seven percent of Club Alumni said the Club literally saved their lives. One alumnus writes, “Without the Club, I don’t know what would have become of me, running with a bad group of kids, drugs, I just don’t know. What I do know is, because of the Club, I had a safe place to go and mingle with kids who were looking for the same thing I was – friends and a feeling of family.”
The Community Foundation of Lorain County believes in the work that Boys & Girls Club is doing to prepare our youth for the future and has invested over $292,000 in grants to the organization since 1999, with the most recent grant of $35,000 in 2008 for general operating support.
For more information on Boys & Girls Club of Lorain County, visit www.loraincounty.com/bgc/.