It’s not just about exploring the future … It’s about helping them build it.
An astronaut. A nurse. An officer. A fireman. An all-star athlete. A construction worker. A teacher.
If kids can dream it, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana can help them become it…
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana’s vision is that all Club members graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character, citizenship, leadership skills and leading a healthy lifestyle. While our reach and impact is unparalleled, the challenges facing kids in Northwest Indiana remain paramount. For example, Indiana has the nation’s highest rate of students who have contemplated suicide. Food insecurity is an issue too many young people in Northwest Indiana face regularly. Yet, childhood obesity, substance abuse and cyber-bullying are more prevalent than ever before.
Every afternoon 11 million kids (one in five) leave school with no place to go and risk being unguided and unsafe. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana stands in that gap, annually providing 10,000 Northwest Indiana youth with safe spaces to receive homework help, connect with adult mentors, explore college and career opportunities, make life-long friendships, perfect free-throws and learn the importance of a strong work ethic, teamwork and sportsmanship.
“Boys & Girls Clubs have impacted the future of multiple generations here in the Region, with 54 percent of our Alumni saying that their Club saved their lives,” said President and CEO, Ryan Smiley. “Please take a moment to read the story of Aaron, a recent Club alum.”
Aaron moved six times by the time he was in 5th grade. Aaron’s Dad was in prison and refused to communicate with him. Moving so much, it was difficult for Aaron to make and keep friends. He was behind in his studies and had few male role models in his life.
Hopelessness, depression and feelings of isolation consumed Aaron. In 6th grade, his life changed after moving near a Boys & Girls Club. While his Mom was grateful he had a safe place to go after school, Aaron came to realize Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana his life.
“The services and programs offered at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana benefited all areas of my life,” says Aaron. “Power Hour gave me the opportunity to complete homework assignments I usually struggled with, Indiana Kids put me on a path to academic success and gave me an appreciation for continuing my education. Passport to Manhood was by far, the most influential program. Because of the absence of a father figure in my life., Passport to Manhood taught me essential skills I otherwise would have missed like tying a tie, identifying tools in a toolbox, how to treat women, how to respect myself and others, positive decision making, key communication skills and information about entrepreneurship that literally changed the course of my life.”
A sophomore at Indiana University and recently admitted to Kelley School of Business, Aaron is doing more than surviving, he is thriving.
With your support, nearly 10,000 youth in 'The Region' will flourish and realize their potential when given access to our innovative programs designed to empower them to excel in school, become good citizens and to lead healthy, productive lives.
Will you help? Will you support youth, like Aaron, who want and need a chance to change the course of their life? Youth who need to be given the chance of a GREAT Future! Will you please consider a gift of $100 today? Please be as generous as you can. No gift is too small.
On behalf of Aaron and the 10,000 youth we serve, we thank you.