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Akwesasne Boys & Girls Club Connect Through Lacrosse

Jacelyn and Mirabella Lazore recognized the need to give back more to their community and acknowledge their roles as mentors through involvement in the Akwesasne Boys & Girls Club (ABGC). Both were members of the ABGC Teen Program and currently volunteer in the Club’s Attack Lacrosse Program. In the program, the girls coach a Kindergarten-2nd grade group and referee games in the league.

When talking about Club activities Mirabella recalls, “I learned a lot through the cultural component of the Teen Summer Program. The Club made our cultural teaching more widely acceptable for all teens to learn.” Jacelyn shared, “one thing I remember the most is making the traditional cornhusk dolls without faces that were then donated to a foundation for missing and murdered aboriginal women!”

Involvement in traditional culture and lacrosse doesn’t stop at the Club for the two teens. In fact, Jacelyn and Mirabella’s lacrosse team at Salmon River High school was featured in “Keepers of the Game”, a documentary that chronicles the journey of the girls' lacrosse team from Akwesasne, NY. Prior to the start of the 2015 season, the team's funding was cut and the girls were forced to raise funds to complete their season, while battling the traditional notion that lacrosse is a medicine game only to played by men and boys. The documentary received a great deal of attention between a premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2016 and air time on ESPN and ABC.

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Nanakuli Clubhouse Youth Light Up the Night

This July the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii-Nanakuli Clubhouse hosted their 3rd Annual Summer Nights Concert and welcomed more than 400 guests!

The event was a celebration for the Club’s youth and their families to come together for an enjoyable evening of fun and community building. The event featured local entertainment from Walt Keale, a Native (Cherokee & Hawaiian) recording artist with a gift of story-telling. Keale is known to present music and culture in ways that engage listeners authentically and deeply. In addition to entertainment, local restaurants catered the event and youth joined in activities such as face painting, balloon twisting, snack shack concession, photo booth, and vendor booths set up by event sponsors.

Critical support from sponsoring organizations helped to make the event not only successful, but also free of cost to the youth and families. Local partners Hawaiian Electric Company, Queen Lili'uokalani's Children’s Center, and Makaha Studios all made contributions to support the event. Makaha Studios added a professional touch to the youth performances with sound equipment and special lighting.

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Native Youth Kick-off a Healthy Summer with Under Armour Donation

Last month, several Native Clubs running the On the T.R.A.I.L. to Diabetes Prevention program received a gift to help them kick-off a healthy summer: a donation of Under Armour running shoes! The shoes were provided to Clubs to encourage youth and staff to continue staying active over the summer.

Below are some of the happy recipients from Boys & Girls Clubs of the Three Affiliated Tribes, ND; Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, MT; Boys & Girls Clubs of Rosebud, SD; Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County, WA; and Boys & Girls Club of Wilson, OK. Special thanks to our friends at Under Armour for this generous donation!

Under Armour shoes donation

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Hiking to Great Cultural Connections

As part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Rosebud’s ongoing commitment to include cultural awareness and a stronger understanding of traditional Lakota values in their programming, their Hiking Club recently took part in the annual Welcome Back the Thunders ceremony in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota – the Heart of Mother Earth. Welcome Back the Thunders is an ancient celestial ceremony which takes place each year during the Spring Equinox.

The Hiking Club meets and hikes regularly, but for this particular event a select group of eight elementary school aged Club members, who are also part of the OJP mentoring program at the Club, were invited to take part in the seven mile hike up to Hinhan Kaga Paha, the tallest mountain in South Dakota. “Hinhan Kaga” is the traditional Lakota name for the mountain peak, and “Making of Owls” is the English translation.

Taylor Schad, the Club’s AmeriCorps VISTA member, and Dion Reynolds, Club Board Member, worked with the surrounding community to plan the trip. The neighboring Boys & Girls Clubs of the Black Hills in Hill City, SD provided their gym for the group’s sleepover the night before the hike. The group woke the next morning to snow on the mountain top!

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County’s Growing Impact

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County is seeing hard work and perseverance pay off as the organization grows to impact youth in a number of communities across Washington State and a portion of Oregon. Recently, two units of the organization were named as recipients of special opportunities as a result of their involvement in the On the T.R.A.I.L. (Together Raising Awareness for Indian Life) to Diabetes Prevention program.

T.R.A.I.L. participants at the Warm Springs Branch, located in Warm Springs, OR, were given a donation of athletic shoes from the popular athletic brand, Under Armour. The company has pledged to bring supplies and support for sports and physical activities to communities that may not already have access to these resources.

While youth in Warm Springs were equipped to be on the move, another unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish also had the opportunity to grow their movement. The Amerigroup Foundation has partnered with the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club, located in Tulalip, WA, to raise awareness and help combat diabetes among local kids and teens. Type 2 diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, and affects all Washingtonians, but the risk is higher for American Indian and Alaska Native youth. The Foundation has awarded $20,000 in funding to support health and wellness programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County.

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Contact Us

BGCA Native Services Unit
Dallas Service Center
2107 N. Collins Boulevard
Richardson, TX 75080

Direct: 972-581-2374
E-mail: BGCANS@BGCA.ORG