Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula has been serving Newport News youth ages 6-18 since 1946 through afterschool and summer programs. Our mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Activities span the five core program areas – Education & Career Development; Character & Leadership Development; Health & Life Skills; The Arts; and Sports, Fitness & Recreation. Our priority is to be accessible for the families who need us, which is why the afterschool membership fee is only $25 for the entire year. Club members experience swim lessons, a hot meal every day, dental care, tutoring, volunteer projects, resume writing, public speaking, field trips, sports leagues, financial literacy, career exploration, positive decision making workshops, and more. But, our Club members say it best: 54% of Club alumni said the Club saved their lives. Keep reading below to hear from our 2018 Youth of the Year, Jakala.
This year, we’re partnering with the Newport News One City Marathon to celebrate our city and citizens! You can join us AND help our kids. If you choose to join the team, you can race in March FOR FREE! Minimum fundraising amounts are listed below. Simply click “Join the Team” to get started! After you sign up, we’ll e-mail you a registration code.
Once City Marathon: $150 to raise
One City Half Marathon: $125 to raise
One City Marathon Relay: $125 to raise
One City Maritime 8K: $100 to raise
"My name is Jakala Bellamy, and I want to thank you for reading my letter. I’m a freshman at Virginia State University majoring in mass communications. I’m already in the Mass Communications Club, serving on the Trojans Activity Board, and training with the school radio station. I’m definitely staying busy!
But, I can confidently say that I would not be where I am without my Boys & Girls Club. I grew up in a public housing complex called Marshall Courts in downtown Newport News, and it hasn’t been an easy road. I’ve dealt with eviction, taking care of my younger sister while my mom worked late, peer pressure for gangs and drugs, and losing two friends to gun violence.
At times, I didn’t think I’d make it out. But I had an advantage - my Boys & Girls Club. Some people don’t expect anything from me and my friends because of the street we live on, but my Boys & Girls Club did. I joined programs like Keystone Club and SMART Girls that emphasized self-respect and showed me the importance of making a difference in my community. Mr. Eric helped me see what opportunities laid beyond Marshall Courts, and Ms. Walida showed me how to believe in myself. I now understand that I am not defined by the street I live on, but by my personal actions and impact."
Help make your impact today!