innovating future leaders

Funded through a $5 million grant from Raytheon Company, the Center is designed to inspire children to explore science, technology, engineering, and math fields

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson Unveils New “Center of Innovation”

Press Release


Atlanta, GA – February 26, 2018 – Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson will open a Center of Innovation on Friday, March 9, 2018 at its Holmes Tuttle Clubhouse with support from Raytheon, a defense and cybersecurity leader. The center was created to provide children of military families with an inspiring environment in which they can explore the practical application of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 

This center is one of 11 in the U.S. and Germany that is part of Raytheon's $10 million pledge to support military families and veterans.  The Center of Innovation at Holmes Tuttle Clubhouse will provide military connected youth access to advanced technologies to stimulate creative approaches to STEM exploration.  

A full-time STEM expert will offer individual and group support, using real-world applications to help Youth Program participants develop their STEM skills and critical thinking. 

"We're proud to offer safe, familiar places for our area's military youth to forge the friendships, principles and passions that will ultimately impact their future," said Debbie Wagner, Chief Executive Officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson. "With this new Center of Innovation from Raytheon at our Holmes Tuttle Clubhouse location, we'll be able to help build even more confidence and curiosity among our kids and teens, whether they ultimately decide to pursue a career in STEM or explore another interest area."

Pam Erickson, Raytheon's Vice President of Global Branding and Citizenship said: "Military families go where they are needed, when they are needed. Raytheon's goal is to provide their children with an environment to foster their creative and learning passions. Supporting military families is our responsibility; inspiring the military child is our privilege."

"I'm excited to participate in the Center of Innovation," said Elizabeth Romero, Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson's Holmes Tuttle Clubhouse Youth of the Year. "I've always had a curiosity in science, technology, math and engineering, and now I can explore these fields in-depth at my Boys & Girls Club."

On Friday, March 9 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm the Holmes Tuttle Clubhouse (2585 East 36th Street, Tucson, Ariz. 85713) will host a Center of Innovation grand opening event and ribbon cutting ceremony. Activities at the event will include DIY Build Your Own Comet and Build Your Own Comet exercises along with a chance to test creativity on a 3D printer. Additionally, several Raytheon representatives will be onsite leading a Squishy Circuits activity that involves conductive and insulating play dough to teach the basics of electrical circuits.

To date, 11 Center of Innovation locations in the United States and one abroad have been opened:

  1. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego, serving families of Naval Base Point Loma, and Naval Base San Diego
  2. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pikes Peak Region, Colorado Springs, Colorado, serving families of Peterson Air Force Base, Widefield School District and U.S. Air Force Academy Youth Program
  3. Eglin Air Force Base Youth Program, Florida
  4. Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, serving families of Joint Base San Antonio (Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, and Randolph Air Force Base)
  5. Joint Base Andrews Youth Program, Maryland
  6. Ramstein Air Base Youth Programs, Ramstein, Germany
  7. Boys & Girls Clubs of South County, Chula Vista, California, serving families of Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach
  8. Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas, Killeen, Texas, serving families of Fort Hood
  9. Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama, serving the families of Redstone Arsenal
  10. Harford County Boys & Girls Clubs, Aberdeen, Maryland, serving the families of the Aberdeen Proving Ground
  11. Hill Air Force Base Youth Center, serving families of Utah

In addition to the Holmes Tuttle Clubhouse location, two more Centers of Innovation will open this year; one at the Hale Pono Ewa Beach Clubhouse on February 27 to serve families of Hawaii and the other at Kirtland Air Force Base Youth Center in March to serve families of New Mexico.

For 26 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has partnered with every branch of the U.S. military and serves 480,000 school-age military youth around the world. Through the affiliated Youth Centers available on nearly every U.S. military installation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America aims to provide a steady presence in military children's lives.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson
For more than 50 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson (BGCT) has helped kids, especially those who need us the most, build great futures. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson provides an affordable alternative and after school programming to 5,000 youth each year at six locations throughout Tucson. Using proven programs and resources, BGCT equips youth with pathways to success and as a result they have the resilience and support to face challenges and seek solutions. BGCT is a trusted partner in empowering children and relies on community support for sustainability. For more information, visit or call 520-573-3533.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,300 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at Facebook and Twitter.

About Raytheon 
Raytheon Company, with 2017 sales of $25 billion and 64,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 96 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, C5I™ products and services, sensing, effects, and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. Follow us on Twitter.


Media Contacts

Shannon Ross
Boys & Girls Clubs of America


Add your comment

Please confirm you are human by typing the text you see in this image:


If you like this post, you'll like: