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Influencing the Future

Boys & Girls Club of Naples

Upcoming Events

BGCCC.com

Dec. 11, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Women, Wine, & a Worthy Cause
Evening Reception, Jane's Café on 3rd 

Feb. 25
Youth of the Year Celebration
Celebration, Reception & Dinner at Club Pelican Bay

March 27
2020 Paragon Awards

Luncheon at Grey Oaks Country Club

In 1860, three women in Hartford, Connecticut—Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin and Elizabeth Hammersley—believed the boys roaming the streets should have a more positive environment to spend time in than the unstructured, uncertain and potentially dangerous one they were already immersed in. Out of this belief, the first Good Will Club was formed, with character development as its cornerstone. The focus of the club was capturing boys’ interests, improving their behavior and increasing their personal expectations and goals.

Forty-six years later, several boys clubs joined forces, and the Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations. This was the official start of a nationwide movement and the national organization known as the Boys Club Federation of America, which changed its name to Boys Clubs of America in 1931. In 1990, the organization wanted to recognize the fact that girls were also a very strong part of the cause, and the name changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America as a reflection of this acknowledgment. The organization celebrated 100 years of providing hope and opportunity to young people across the country in 2006.

The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County has been a pillar of the community for over the past two decades. In carrying out its mission, the club offers a safe place for young people to learn, grow and develop ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals who support the educational, emotional, physical and social development of our youth and provide them with the resources needed to become successful adults. The life-enhancing programs and character development experiences provide hope and opportunity that “assures success is within reach of every young person who enters our doors” (part of the B&G Club Vision Statement) so they can reach their full potential.

More than 3,000 children and teens, ages 6 to 18, are served by the Clubs in Naples and Immokalee. Through partnerships with the Naples Children and Education Foundation and Florida’s 21st Century, Boys & Girls Club of Collier County is able to provide a safe, positive, enriching environment during the most critical time of the day: out-of-school time. Ninety-six percent of members receive free or reduced lunch, 55% of members come from homes where English is not the main spoken language, and 100% of members receive partial or full scholarships to attend the clubs.

The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County has a relentless pursuit to do whatever it takes to build great futures. With programs such as sports, fitness and recreation; health and life skills; character and leadership development; arts; education and career development; and the newest culinary program, The Blue CanTEEN; members’ receive exposure to experiences and opportunities that solidly prepare them for what they may encounter later on in life.  To attest to the impact on these young men and women, in the 60 schools served throughout Collier County, 100% of at-risk high school-aged club members graduated high school last year.

There are many ways to get involved with this organization to make even more positive differences in the lives of the young people in your own community. The best way to learn about the club is to visit and see how the staff does whatever it takes to build great futures. Tours of the facility are offered to community members who are interested in learning more about how they can support the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County. There are also numerous volunteer opportunities for those who want to take a hands-on approach. The club strongly believes in the value that volunteers add to the well-being and development of its members. As little as one or two hours per week as a volunteer can positively impact a child’s life. There are one-time, done-in-a-day opportunities, as well as ongoing positions where volunteers can serve as tutors or mentors, getting to know these young people, building relationships with them, and investing in their lives. In addition, individuals and businesses can financially support the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County with individual donations, purchasing tickets to events, or becoming an event sponsor. Any and all of these ways help keep kids and their futures a No. 1 priority.

“The club [also] taught me how to be a leader. When I first joined, I was a very shy kid. My mentors saw leadership qualities in me and began to present me with opportunities that developed those skills. Being the president of the Torch Club and Keystone Club gave me the confidence I needed to pursue similar roles in my adulthood.” –Maryah, 2014 National Youth of the Year

“I didn’t have a lot of opportunities until I joined the Boys & Girls Club, and that changed my outlook on life. I want to use my leadership qualities to tell all kids to make good decisions and to not bully others.” –Calvin 

“Programs like SMART Girls and Healthy Habits nurtured my desire to become a nurse and helped me understand that I have the power to make a positive difference in the lives of others and how they feel about their bodies. I was inspired by my time in the club to become an advocate for mental illness and substance abuse and an educator for clean eating and adequate exercise.” –Rayliyah, 2016-17 Southeast Youth of the Year

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