30 Years of Native Clubs
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) recognized 30 years of serving youth on Native Lands. Our more than 230 Native Clubs celebrated this milestone and their collective impact at the Native Summit, bringing together attendees to share ideas, honor cultural richness and diversity, and reflect on how far the Movement has come since its humble beginning. The Native Services Unit of BGCA supports Native Clubs with personal consultations, trainings, events, culturally-relevant resources and Native adaptations of national Boys & Girls Club programs.
Virtual National Days of Advocacy
Over 630 participants attended the Virtual National Days of Advocacy, representing all 50 states plus D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. BGCA trained more than 4,800 advocates during 130 skill-building sessions and advocates had over 405 meetings with members of Congress and their staff, sharing their stories on how Boys & Girls Clubs have a positive impact on youth and communities across the country. Our collective advocacy efforts resulted in Clubs receiving more than $74 million in congressionally directed spending, compared to $26 million in 2021.
Alumni Pay it Forward
We celebrated Pay It Forward Day, an international day of action that encourages giving back through small acts of kindness. For Boys & Girls Clubs, it was an opportunity to engage alumni to reflect on how much their Club experiences meant to them and pay it forward by funding Club memberships for kids who need them — continuing a cycle of great futures. The campaign garnered more than 15,000 engagements, 174 new alumni and 34 new alumni donors.
Mental Health Awareness Month
Supporting youth mental health is a top priority for BGCA and Clubs across the nation as youth mental health was declared a national crisis in 2021 by the U.S. Surgeon General. From the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to increased exposure to racial inequities and gun violence, today’s youth are coming of age during a time of increasing collective trauma. That’s why we remain committed to leading the way in addressing youth mental health by creating Trauma-Informed Clubs and Club leaders that provide support for youth through a culture of safety and healing.
BGCA observed Juneteenth, the federal holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the U.S. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion encompasses encouraging Clubs and communities to use this holiday to celebrate freedom, resilience, community and the possibilities of good things to come by helping teens register to vote, supporting Black-owned businesses and encouraging teens to discuss history on their terms.
Inaugural National Youth Advocacy Days
Over 250 Club youth and their mentors attended BGCA’s first ever National Youth Advocacy Days. Attendees of the three-day event in Washington, D.C. experienced our nation’s capital and had their voices heard. They learned from speakers, attended advocacy trainings, met with their members of Congress and took a tour of the city’s monuments and sights in order to ignite a passion for advocacy work.
Ahsha Named Military Youth of the Year
Selected among five outstanding regional finalists from BGCA-affiliated military Youth Centers around the world, Ahsha B., of Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, was named the 2022 National Military Youth of the Year. Ahsha received a $20,000 scholarship to support her future educational endeavors. National Military Youth of the Year is a component of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year recognition program for Club and Youth Center members.
Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Transformational Statewide Grant
Lilly Endowment Inc. (LEI) granted BGCA $30 million to enhance and expand support for Indiana’s youth with safe spaces, caring mentors and life-enhancing experiences. LEI’s investment was the catalyst for statewide strategic planning across the Movement and will fund two years of Indiana’s five-year strategic plan to support 31 Boys & Girls Club organizations comprising more than 117 Clubhouses. By 2025, Clubs across Indiana will be serving 30% more youth, leveraging LEI’s investment to diversify revenue sources with external partners, expand access to high-quality programs, and complete capital and renovation projects to better serve kids and teens.
Asha Named National Youth of the Year
After teens from communities across the nation and U.S. military installations worldwide participated in our Youth of the Year program by sharing their stories at Club, state, regional and national celebrations, Asha H-R. of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington was named the 2022 National Youth of the Year. She serves as an ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth as well as a voice for all of our nation’s young people. She was honored with a $50,000 college scholarship and a 2023 Toyota Corolla to help assure her a bright future.