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Youth Climbing the Walls at the Boys & Girls Club of Rosebud

Playtime Elevated

At the Boys & Girls Club of Rosebud youth are having extreme adventures right within the walls of the Club. In the fall of 2014, a 16 foot climbing wall and a 550 square foot bouldering cave were built for Club members by local volunteers. Now the youth at the Club have a new favorite activity.

“The wall builds our students’ motivation for a healthy lifestyle and allows them to experience success in overcoming their fears [while] in a safe and loving environment!” said climbing instructor/teacher Breanna Stroh.

The Club’s Executive Director, Glen Marshall, loves both the wall and the story of how it came to be. “The goal was to provide active recreation, indoors, that would challenge our kids both physically and mentally.” said Marshall, “Climbing is one of my favorite things to do outdoors, so when the organization known as ‘A World Feast’ told us they would sponsor a wall, we rallied the troops and were able to make it happen. Our volunteers were amazing and the kids love to climb - as they frequently remind our staff. They get up on the walls almost every day.”

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Expanding the Club’s Reach through a Boarding School Partnership

My name is Jameson Goetz, and I currently serve as an AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club of Moody County in Flandreau, SD. Through my role as an AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer, I have the opportunity to do some incredibly fun and rewarding work. Most recently, I have been very excited about the progress we have been making with our relationship with the Flandreau Indian Boarding School (FIS). The Boys & Girls Club of Moody County just recently formed a partnership with FIS through which all of the more than 300 FIS students officially joined the Club. Since the fall we have been doing programming and activities with the FIS students a couple hours twice a week. We are looking to further develop our programming with FIS, with the eventual goal of offering meaningful, impactful programs five or six days a week. Also, we are currently planning on taking a group of FIS students on a campus visit to South Dakota State University (we've already made plans for a similar visit with Flandreau Public School students). I have also scheduled admissions representatives from four different community colleges and technical students to come to FIS during the evenings and discuss potential post-secondary education opportunities. I definitely feel that we are creating meaningful relationships with the staff and students at FIS. I know that if we continue working hard that we will eventually see something really special happen through our Club's partnership with the school.

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South Dakota’s 2015 Youth of the Year

Kaleb Hartley, representing the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Missouri River Area in Wagner, SD, was named South Dakota’s 2015 Youth of the Year. Kaleb was one of seven finalists who were selected based on their academic record, community involvement, and involvement in their Club.

Along with his parents and other finalists from Clubs in South Dakota, Kaleb spent two days in Pierre, SD being interviewed by judges and meeting dignitaries. He received a $5,000 scholarship, and will now go on to compete in the Midwest Regional competition this July in Chicago, IL. The Regional Youth of the Year selected this summer in Chicago will then compete in Washington D.C. this fall to be named the National Youth of the Year, which is the highest honor presented by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).

Kaleb, who has been a member at Missouri River Area since 2003, attends and volunteers at the Club every day. He has a 4.0 grade point average and is the only senior Native member on the National Honor Society at his school. He attributes much of his academic success to Power Hour, which he has participated in since he first became a Club member at six years old. Involvement in the Youth of the Year contest has made Kaleb even more passionate about volunteering at his Club, so that more youth can enjoy a positive experience like he’s had over the years. After high school he plans to attend Creighton University in Omaha, NE to pursue a major in Nursing and a minor in Native American studies.

Every year one teen is named BGCA’s National Youth of the Year, awarded a $50,000 scholarship, a brand new car, and serves as BGCA’s official teen spokesperson.

Photo: Kaleb Hartley and Linda Daugaard, First Lady of South Dakota
Photo Credit: Boys & Girls Club of the Missouri River Area

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Boys & Girls Club of Green Country Code Corps is on a Mission

Congratulations to the Boys & Girls Club of Green Country for joining forces with Code Corps, a new initiative aimed at creating more opportunities for youth to experience and learn about technology. Code Corps, an AmeriCorps*VISTA project, is a partnership between the Corporation for National & Community Service, Google, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America designed to ensure that Club members, particularly middle school age minority youth, are provided equity and access to computer science programs. AmeriCorps*VISTA members will build the capacity of seven local Boys & Girls Club organizations to implement technology programming, and to develop and sustain a skilled volunteer recruitment program and management system. The participating VISTA members will travel to Google headquarters to receive specialized training and work with the national network of Code Corps sites.

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AmeriCorps*VISTA members Inspire Youth to Serve

Fifty years ago the VISTA Program (Volunteers in Service to America) was just beginning. That was the year that Dr. Martin Luther King Junior led thousands on a march from Selma to the courthouse in Montgomery, AL to demand equal voting rights for people of every race. MLK Day is now designated as a National Day of Service by AmeriCorps and regarded as “a day on, not a day off”. Let’s take a look at some Native Clubs where members of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country AmeriCorps*VISTA Project taught Club members the importance of service on the MLK Day of Service 2015.

Building Futures Bright and Healthy

In Scottsdale, AZ, youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Lehi and Red Mountain Branches contributed their time and talent while learning about Martin Luther King’s legacy of equal rights and justice for all citizens of the United States of America. Featured activities included a blood drive for adults and sandwich making by youth for homeless men.

Through a partnership with the American Red Cross, a total of 26 volunteers donated blood. VISTA member John Hamilton, who coordinated the event, noted that he was particularly proud of several teen Club members donating blood for the first time.

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For more information, read about the BGCA Native Services Unit team members and how to contact
them individually.

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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