Cultivating Tomorrow’s Leaders: The Impact of Boys & Girls Clubs
May 04, 2018
The results are in! Membership in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America makes positive differences in young people’s lives.
By: Stephanie Myers
The results are in — membership in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America makes positive differences in the lives and futures of young people.
A newly released report, “Measuring the Impact of Boys & Girls Clubs,” found that young people who were engaged in club activities experienced favorable results in three different areas: academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.
Specifically, these outcomes include
- Graduating from high school prepared to attend college, trade school, a branch of the military, or enter the workforce
- Being a community-involved citizen who models strong character and registers to vote
- Making a lifelong commitment to fitness practices, including a healthy diet and lifestyle habits
The positive outcomes of club membership didn’t end there.
When the report examined the career and higher education interests of the 2017 graduating class, it found that club members in their senior year of high school were more than twice as likely to express an interest in a STEM career compared with seniors nationally. Moreover, the percentage of female club members who expressed an interest in a future STEM career came in at 51 percent compared with 14 percent of their female peers not enrolled in a BGCA club — an interest level that is more than three times greater.
Careers in the STEM fields will continue to need students and teachers who are proficient within these disciplines, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and because of this, improving and supporting STEM education opportunities has become an ongoing national priority.
Technology, including digital access, has been key in stimulating the interest in STEM among club members. Cox Communications has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America since 2002, supplying members with cutting-edge technology, including equipment, software, and tech support services. Additionally, Cox has helped establish nearly 100 technology centers in Boys & Girls Clubs nationally, in addition to committing more than $250 million in cash and in-kind donations to the organization.
Cultivating tomorrow’s leaders has long been a priority of Boys & Girls Clubs, and the report also points to results of the club’s commitment to helping shape responsible citizens, including encouraging long-term participation in community service and service-learning opportunities. The report noted that 74 percent of teens 13 to 18 who were Club members reported volunteering in the community in the past year while 50 percent volunteered once per month.Learn more about the work of Boys & Girls Clubs in the full report here.