Cox Awards $20,675 to upgrade technology space at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Fountain Hills Branch

A refurbished and upgraded technology innovation lab funded by a $20,675 award from Cox Communications, Inc., was unveiled at the Mary Ellen & Robert McKee Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale on Friday, Aug. 9.

The Cox Innovation Lab features new furniture, a fresh coat of paint, and technology upgrades including 10 high-speed laptops, a MacBook, 2 virtual reality headsets, Nintendo Labo, a 4K TV display, and a 3D printer making the space the first of its kind in Fountain Hills.

“At Cox we believe that life is better when we have more moments of real human connection. Not only does access to the Internet keep students connected to their teachers, but we know it is a vital tool for school work and STEM programs,” said Susan Anable, Southwest Region Vice President of Public Affairs, Cox Communications.  “We know that this Innovation Lab will not only provide moments of fun, but with access to the Internet a world is opened to young minds.”

Located in the McKee Branch teen center, the lab will also be used for programming made available to younger Club members.

“With this new technology, any place can now become a learning environment,” said Robyn Julien, BGCS President & CEO. “By funding this lab, Cox provided our kids with opportunities to explore faraway places with virtual reality headsets, create robots, learn coding and programming, and create digital art. These are skills and experiences that will help our kids prepare for the jobs of tomorrow right here in our state.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Change the Equation, Inc. projects a growth of 23% in STEM jobs in Arizona through 2024 and ranked Arizona second in growth for computing jobs.

Virtual reality headsets along with 360-degree cameras will provide BGCS members the ability to explore other countries, play games, and create their own 360-degree images and videos. With Nintendo Labo, kids will be able to create interactive modules like steering wheels and robots. The 4K television display will be used to show demos while Club members work at their own station, view virtual reality images, and provide the greatest clarity possible for the Nintendo experience. With the 3D printer, kids will be exposed to coding and digital art creation.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Mary Ellen & Robert McKee Branch serves 650 youth and teen members with before school and after school programming as well as summer day camp and sports leagues. The McKee Branch is located on North Del Cambre Avenue in Fountain Hills. To learn more about this Club, visit www.bgcs.org or call (480) 344-5400.

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation Invests $120,000 In Boys & Girls Club Scholarship Recipients By Funding A New Staff Position To Support Students Across Phoenix And Scottsdale Clubs

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix (BGCMP) has been awarded a $120,000 grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation to establish a full-time College Access and Success Manager. The new position will benefit both Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) by managing the multiple scholarships available to Club youth and providing direct support to scholarship recipients throughout their college career.

“Education plays a key role in shaping a person’s future,” said businessman Bob Parsons. “This collaborative position will help the Boys & Girls Clubs provide scholarship students with the structure and support they need to be successful in their pursuit of higher education.”

Over the past few years, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation – and a number of other organizations and individuals – have provided scholarship funding for Club members. Many of the scholarship recipients come from families living at or below the poverty level, and a large majority of them are the first in their family to pursue higher education. Students in these situations often lack the support system to help them navigate the college experience and too often scholarships go unused because the student is overwhelmed or doesn’t know where to turn for help.

“Attending college or getting post-secondary training is one of the best ways for teens to break the cycle of familial poverty, but these students encounter challenges at home and at school that their counterparts may not face,” said Marcia Mintz, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix. “Our students worked very hard in high school to graduate and earn a scholarship. Thanks to the grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, we will now be able to continue to support our scholarship students as they navigate the world of higher education.”

The Success Manager will support nearly two dozen clubs across Phoenix and Greater Scottsdale, teaching scholarship recipients how to prepare for college, set up a bank account, manage their financial aid and scholarship funds, and fulfill their academic scholarship requirements. Because the vast majority of the youth in this program will be first-generation college students, the Success Manager also will serve as their support system to answer questions and provide ongoing encouragement and reassurance as they work toward a degree.

“Having someone in their corner who can help navigate both the financial and academic challenges of college will give Boys & Girls Club youth a much greater chance at success,” said businesswoman Renee Parsons. “The results will benefit not only the scholarship recipient but their entire family by helping first-generation and lower-income students accomplish lasting success.”

Longtime advocates for the Boys & Girls Club, this recent grant brings The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation’s total support – across both Metro Phoenix and Greater Scottsdale clubs – to more than $9 million, including many Youth of the Year scholarships

“Teens like Kyla Silas, our 2017 Youth of the Year and first-generation college student, often feel like their dreams are not possible as they begin to explore the cost of higher education,” said Robyn Julien, CEO of

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. “Because of the support from donors like the Parsons, and with guidance through the scholarship funding process, our youth realize that they are capable of achieving their dreams, even with all the changes and added responsibilities that go along with attending college.”

Research has shown that the more time youth spend at a Boys & Girls Club, the more connection they feel to school and the greater their post-secondary aspirations become. Thousands of youth walk through the door of a Boys & Girls Club every day, where they are prepared to become 21st century leaders, globally competitive graduates, innovative dream makers and healthy game changers. To learn more visit: https://www.bgca.org/.

Red Mountain Branch Teen Development Specialist honored with Innovation Award

Angela DiCicco, Teen Development Specialist at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s (BGCS) Red Mountain Branch, was presented with the prestigious Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2019 Money Matters Innovation Award. Council Members Michael Dallas and Tom Largo were on hand to recognize DiCicco at the BGCS all-staff meeting held at the Lehi Community Center on Thursday, April 4.

The Innovation Award recognizes only 6 Clubs nationally who are implementing innovative financial literacy programming. DiCicco created a comic book to go hand-in-hand with the BGCA Money Matters curriculum helping Club members become interested in and understand the importance of financial responsibility. The Red Mountain BGCS Branch will receive $1,000 from Boys & Girls Clubs of America as a result of the program’s enhancement created by DiCicco.

“A lot of our teens are into comic books and our younger kids love them too,” said DiCicco. “It’s a good way to inspire both youth and teens with the message of financial responsibility that all of our Clubs can use.”

Money Matters promotes financial responsibility and independence among Club members ages 13 to 18. Participants learn how to manage a checking account, create a budget, save and invest, start small businesses, and pay for college.

“We recognize that increasing the financial literacy of youth in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is a priority for our organization,” said Tamara Littlesalt-Butler, BGCS Vice President of Native American & Community Services. “Angela’s ability to retool program curriculums to fit the needs and interests of our youth has helped us make a huge impact for our members.”

The Red Mountain Branch and the Lehi Branch of BGCS are both located in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and the organization’s youth development programming at www.bgcs.org.

Youth display art at Innovative Dreammakers EXPO

Youth and teen members from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) displayed their visual, digital, and performing art at the 2nd Annual Innovative Dreammakers EXPO as part of National Fine Arts Exhibit programming on Wednesday, April 3 at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts.

Fine art and photography pieces were showcased at the EXPO that placed during organizational competitions held throughout the year along with live vocal, dance, drama, hoop dance, and cheer performances.

“I like art because I get to use my imagination and go free. Someday I’m going to be a famous artist,” said Geo, age 8 from the BGCS Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch. He proudly displayed his 2nd place winning mixed media art at the EXPO.

Over the past year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale has committed to growing its arts programming with daily fine arts activities, specialized art classes, environmental art programming, and one-of-a-kind experiences and career development with Valley artists. As part of the Innovative Dreammaker initiative, youth also are exposed to performance opportunities with dance classes, cheer teams, music, and voice.

“I like cheer and dance because it is fun and when I’m bored, I can just do it,” said Beyonce, age 10 from the BGCS Scottsdale Charros Branch. Beyonce and her cheer team performed at the EXPO. “It makes me happy to dance with my friends. The most exciting thing that happened was when we won the Spirit Stick at the Chant Off at the end of summer camp last year.”

“At a time when schools continue to cut back on arts education, we are making sure all of our after-school program members have access to fine arts programming every week,” said Robyn Julien, BGCS President and CEO. “We are forming new partnerships with respected Valley arts organizations so that we can bring the best into our Clubs.”

A Thunderbirds Charities award of $50,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) spearheaded the growth of the initiative which has already shown results in helping youth to develop specialized skills, find their passions, and use their voice.

“We’re thrilled to help Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale and their mission to foster innovation in our communities,” said Thunderbirds Charities President Carlos Sugich. “BGCS has a tremendous positive impact on our young people and we’re very proud to help any way we can.”

“This generous gift from Thunderbirds Charities is critical to our year-round Innovative Dream-Maker programming,” said Julien. “We are continually grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for their commitment to our community and helping our youth develop the skills they need to be successful.”

The winning pieces from competitions held throughout the year will be sent to the regional competition which will be hosted by BGCS on May 14 at the BIG YAM offices on Northsight in Scottsdale. Included are:

Multicolor Drawing
Dustin M., 9, Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch
Taliya W., 10, Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch
Edward C., 14, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Peyton B., 16, Virginia G. Piper Branch

Collage
Nicole S., 6, Vestar Branch
Alyssa P., 10, Lehi Branch
Olivia H., 13, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Peyton B., 16, Virginia G. Piper Branch

Watercolor
Lena M., 8, Vestar Branch
Yaya H., 10, Vestar Branch
Julia G., 14, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Peyton B., 16, Virginia G. Piper Branch

Pastel
Nicole S., 6, Vestar Branch
Jaden L., 12, Vestar Branch

Monochromatic Drawing
Lexi A., 8, Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch
Gage V., 11, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Edward C., 14, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Gianna M., 17, Vestar Branch

Acrylic or Oil
Gina M., 8, Vestar Branch
Josh G., 11, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Julia G., 14, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Rena J., 17, Thunderbirds Branch

Printmaking
Aahaan B., 8, Vestar Branch
Harper H., 11, Thunderbirds Branch
Karym N., 14, Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch
Sarah G., 16, Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch

Mixed Media
Betsy S., 9, Red Mountain Branch
Julienne H., 11, Thunderbirds Branch
Joshua B., 14, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Peyton B., 16, Virginia G. Piper Branch

Group Project
Virginia G. Piper Branch Chihuly Project

BGCS offers of variety of arts and innovation programming at their nine Clubs located within the communities of Scottsdale, North Phoenix, Fountain Hills, Mesa, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Hualapai Nation.

The National Fine Arts program offered to all members focuses on one medium a month to encourage artistic expression including drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, mixed media and sculpture. Youth artists whose work shows improvement and promise in their age group are placed in competition at local and regional exhibits. A panel of judges selects works for inclusion in the National Fine Arts Exhibit, which is displayed at Boys & Girls Clubs of America events.

Boys & Girls Clubs’ ImageMakers Photography program teaches youth the art and science of photography designed to help Club members go beyond taking simple snapshots on their phones and develop the skills to produce impactful photographs.

“In our Clubs, we witness firsthand the positive impact of arts programming. Members not only gain hands-on skills but also develop cultural awareness and community connectedness,” said Lyndal Pleasant, BGCS Director of Arts Programming. “Performing arts opportunities allow members to be recognized for their creativity and self-expression. We were excited to see so many from the community come to view the exhibits and support our young artists.”

Find out more about programming at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale by visiting www.bgcs.org.

Tisha B. Named Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale 2019 Youth of the Year at Celebrate Youth at Blue Door Ball Gala


Tisha B., 17-year-old member of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Sal Cosenza Teen Center at the Virginia G. Piper Branch was named the organization’s 2019 Youth of the Year. The announcement was made Friday night at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s annual signature fundraiser, Celebrate Youth at Blue Door Ball presented by Tiffany & Bosco and Great American Title.

The gala, held at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge, raised $1 million to fund Club programming through ticket and table sales, event sponsorships, paddle-raisers, and live and silent auctions.

Bob and Renee Parsons, through The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, donated more than $300,000 in the paddle raise and live auction. Their generosity helped the Clubs reach the million-dollar mark for the first time in the history of this event.

The event also highlights the impact of the Clubs on local youth with each of the eight Youth of the Year teen finalists presenting their personal stories of growth, resiliency and achievement.

“This organization changes the lives of young people one day at a time,” said Robyn Julien, BGCS President & CEO. “If our more than 650 guests didn’t know that upon walking into the gala, they definitely knew it upon leaving Friday night after hearing our amazing teens tell their stories.”

Joining B. in the Youth of the Year competition was Michael B., age 17, from the Vestar Branch; Alexandra G., age 16, from the Scottsdale Charros Branch; Caleb J., age 18, from the Red Mountain Branch; Tara M., age 17, from the Thunderbirds Branch; Jake M., age 17, from the Mary Ellen & Robert McKee Branch; Elyssa V., age 17, from the Lehi Branch; and Jessica V., age 17, from the Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch.

“On full display at Celebrate Youth at Blue Door Ball is the true magic of the Clubs—while everyone has their own challenges and burdens, some that may be visible and some that aren’t, what our programming and youth development professionals inspire in our kids is that you don’t have to be defined by what life throws at you,” explained Julien. “By setting goals, working hard and having the support system and mentorships our Clubs provide, they decide what their life will be.”

Youth of the Year is a national Boys & Girls Clubs of America program promoting leadership, exceptional academic performance and community service. This annual competition begins in September with more than 30 BGCS teens vying for the Clubs’ highest honor and $12,000 in scholarship awards provided by Voya Financial.

In the months leading up to the final competition, candidates prepare by writing multiple essays and participating in two rounds of one-on-one and panel interviews with local community leaders. Each teen also practices and hones their presentations of Club experiences and personal growth and transformation.

“All of the candidates are a wonderful representation of the light that the Clubs provide, and all of the candidates were worthy of becoming the 2019 Youth of the Year,” said Sara Donaldson, VP Investment Stewardship at Voya Investment Management and Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale Board Member, who served as lead judge for this year’s Youth of the Year competition. “The final decision was extremely difficult, but in the end, we felt that Tisha was the best representative of that light.”

Tisha will go on to compete at the state level on March 26, 2019, with the potential to move onto regional and national competitions.

Thunderbirds Charities awards $50,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale for Innovative Dream-Maker programming


Thunderbirds Charities awarded $50,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) to help fund and grow the youth development organization’s Innovative Dream-Maker initiative for arts and innovation programming.

Fine arts, performing arts, graphic design, drama, music, photography and entrepreneurism are all focuses of the Club’s Innovative Dream-Maker programming.

“We’re thrilled to help Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale and their mission to foster innovation in our communities,” said Thunderbirds Charities President Carlos Sugich. “BGCS has a tremendous positive impact on our young people and we’re very proud to help any way we can.”

“This generous gift from Thunderbirds Charities is critical to our year-round Innovative Dream-Maker initiative,” said Robyn Julien, BGCS President and CEO. “We are continually grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for their commitment to our community and helping our youth develop the skills they need to be successful.”

BGCS offers of variety of arts and innovation programming at their nine Clubs located within the communities of Scottsdale, North Phoenix, Fountain Hills, Mesa, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Hualapai Nation.

The National Fine Arts program offered to all members focuses on one medium a month to encourage artistic expression including drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, mixed media and sculpture. Youth artists whose work shows improvement and promise in their age group are placed in competition at local and regional exhibits. A panel of judges selects works for inclusion in the National Fine Arts Exhibit, which is displayed at Boys & Girls Clubs of America events.

Boys & Girls Clubs’ ImageMakers Photography program teaches youth the art and science of photography designed to help Club members go beyond taking simple snapshots on their phones and develop the skills to produce impactful photographs.

The Clubs’ What’s Your Vision? program challenges youth to identify an opportunity to solve a problem, then design a business or product around their idea. The program introduces youth to the entrepreneurial spirit, business ethics, planning and research, development and design, marketing, finances, and presentation skills.

“In our Clubs, we witness firsthand the positive impact of arts programming: it promotes and sharpens self-directed learning, problem solving, persistence, collaboration and critical thinking skills,” said Julien. “Studies show that arts education helps students master other subjects such as reading, math and social studies as well.”

Find out more about programming at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale by visiting www.bgcs.org.

First local Super Smash Bros Ultimate tournament to be held at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Vestar Branch

Bravous eSports is hosting the first Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament in the Valley on Saturday, December 8 at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Vestar Branch in north Phoenix.  Nintendo’s much-anticipated Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be released Friday, December 7. Event registration is free of charge.

“Being able to say that the first tournament of its kind was held at one of our Clubs is very exciting,” said Curt McReynolds, BGCS Chief Operating Officer. “It’s not only a great way to introduce our kids and teens to something brand new, but also an opportunity to get the community in our Club doors.”

There are 128 spots available for registration. Four of the 10 top-ranked players in Arizona will be at the event competing. One match of each round will be shown on a screen for the audience to view. Competitors will play with GameCube controllers through the Nintendo Switch on monitors.

“We are excited to partner with Boys and Girls Club,” said Scott Novis, founder of Bravous eSports. Our goal is to not only throw a great tournament, but to create an environment where players can come together and connect with other people in their community who share their passion for video games.”

In addition to the competition, there will be food trucks and a coffee vendor at the tournament. Attendees will also be able to purchase merchandise from multiple vendors, with potential giveaways.

EVENT DETAILS

Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Vestar Branch

3975 E. Lockwood Dr.

Phoenix, AZ 85050

Visit bravous.com to register for the tournament and to find out more about upcoming clinics and leagues.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale names eight Youth of the Year finalists at annual celebration

Eight BGCS 2018-19 BGCS Youth of the Year finalists, pictured from left to right: (back row) Tisha B., Caleb J., Michael B. and Jake M., (front row) Elyssa V., Alexandra G., Jessica V. and Tara M.

On Wednesday evening, the eight teen finalists who will compete to be named 2019 Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Youth of the Year were announced. The finalists were selected from a field of 26 BGCS teens, representing eight local Clubs.

The finalists are: Tisha B., Virginia G. Piper Branch; Michael B., Vestar Branch; Alexandra G., Scottsdale Charros Branch; Caleb J., Red Mountain Branch (SRPMIC); Tara M., Thunderbirds Branch; Jake M., Mary Ellen & Robert McKee Branch; Elyssa V., Lehi Branch (SRPMIC); Jessica V., Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch.

“Our Youth of the Year candidates showcase the best parts of our Clubs at work,” said Robyn Julien, BGCS President & CEO. “Hats off to all 26 candidates, their Club advisors and families. We are so proud of them all. I can’t wait to watch our finalists — Tisha, Michael, Alexandra, Caleb, Tara, Jake, Elyssa and Jessica —  grow and progress as we approach our gala in March.”

The 2019 BGCS Youth of the Year will be named at the Celebrate Youth at Blue Door Ball, presented by Tiffany & Bosco, P.A. and Great American Title, Inc. held on March 1, 2019, at the J.W. Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. This annual gala and fundraiser raises critical dollars for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. At this event, all eight finalists will deliver their inspiring stories to an audience of 700+ community leaders and philanthropists.

Leading up to the March 1 gala, the eight finalists will meet weekly to
strengthen and hone their speaking, writing and interview skills in preparation for the final round of judging in February. The judging process for each round of competition assesses three essays, one 3-minute speech along with one-on-one and panel interviews with a group of community judges. All 26 candidates completed the first round of the competition and judging in early November.

Youth of the Year is a program run at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. It highlights academic excellence, community service and Club leadership. Beginning at the local Club level, the program culminates with Boys & Girls Clubs of America naming a national Youth of the Year.

Meet our eight candidates here

Dedication of Ellie & Michael Ziegler Teen Center held for local philanthropists’ million-dollar gift to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) formally dedicated the newly refreshed Ellie and Michael Ziegler Teen Center at its Vestar Branch in Desert Ridge on Monday, October 22, 2018. The renovations included new paint, flooring, a wall mural, new furniture, technology and safety updates, and the addition of a half gym to the existing Vestar facility built in 2007. 

The dedication ceremony marks the culmination of the 2017-18 One in a Million community matching challenge to fund new construction and revitalize the teen centers at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Thunderbirds and Vestar Branches. Community leaders Ellie and Michael Ziegler provided the matching funds igniting community support and donations for the teen projects in the Grayhawk and Desert Ridge communities. 

“For more than a decade, this center has provided a safe place for teens after school and during the summer,” said Ellie Ziegler, speaking to more than 60 dedication ceremony attendees at the Vestar Branch. “Michael and I want to thank this community for the passionate, unrivaled support in recognizing this need and for continuing to believe in our kids” 

Nearly 100 teens attend the center at Vestar every day. One of BGCS’s busiest Clubs, Vestar has more than 2,500 registered members, 600 of whom are teens. 

“Ellie and Michael have invested in local youth and our community with a commitment to creating higher education opportunities and providing positive role models for youth and teens,” said Robyn Julien, BGCS President and CEO. “Upon hearing of the need at our Vestar Branch for safety updates, technical upgrades and a refresh of the facility including the half gym addition, Ellie and Michael led the cause. We are so proud to have their name on this facility.”  

“For me the Ellie & Michael Ziegler Teen Center is where I go after school to have fun with my friends, get my homework done and hang out in the computer room making music,” said Bella, Club teen and Keystone member. “We volunteer at St. Mary’s Food Bank and work on service projects to make our community better for everyone,” she explained about the Keystone academic and community service program. 

 The Ellie & Michael Ziegler Teen Center includes the Rikki & Barry Chasse Games Room; the Cox Innovation Lab; the Terri & John Heitel Homework Room; the Kevin Rowe Teen Lounge; the Michele & Stephen Schwanz Teen Office; and the Liz & Mike Thorell Music & Multimedia Center. Julien recognized all of the investors for their contributions and commitment to youth and teens in Desert Ridge.  

The Vestar Club was named in honor of Vestar Corporation who provided the interior design for the refresh project. “Vestar Corporation continues to put kids and community first by helping with big and little things around the Club to keep it fresh, fun and safe,” said Julien. 

“We know there are many charities all of you can donate to,” Michael, high school junior and Vestar Keystone Club President, told the honorees and donors at the ceremony. “We are here being active, playing volleyball, planning and completing service projects helping others and our community, getting our homework done and hanging out with friends—in person—not on our phones. We are developing skills that help us work with others and doing things we can put on our resumes and college applications…all because of you.”

Power Hour homework help program at Boys & Girls Club makes all the difference in Lehi Branch member’s academic gains

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ (October 9, 2018) – Ava, age 10, used to struggle with math in school. But after school, Ava attends the Lehi Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS), located in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, where she takes advantage of the Club’s Power Hour homework help program. Because of her dedication coupled with Power Hour led by Lehi Branch staff, Ava does her homework every day and is now an “A” student.

Power Hour is an interactive, after-school homework assistance program for children aged 6 to 18 years. Unlike assignments done in class, Power Hour work is conducted in a fun after-school environment with Club youth development professionals, adults or older students who supervise homework completion.

“It is important that kids have a dedicated time and place to complete their homework, especially for kids whose parents aren’t able to help at home,” said Curt McReynolds, BGCS Chief Operation Officer. “Our staff utilize a variety of methods and apply real-life skills to the learning process.”

After seeing the results of her hard work, Ava spends her time in the Learning Center with a more positive attitude. She is excited and eager to get her homework finished.

“At the Club, I get my homework done and help when I need it during Power Hour,” said Ava. “The Learning Center is a quiet place where I can focus.”

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“Last year transformed Ava’s mindset about homework,” said Samantha Lyons, Learning Center staff member. “Ava was discouraged by her math homework, but we encouraged her to not give up. Ava does her homework every day and continues to be dedicated to improving her grades in math and other subjects. We are so proud of her achievements.”

Power Hour homework help is part of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Globally Competitive Graduate initiative which is offered at all nine branch locations. On average, 113 kids attend the Lehi Branch after-school program each day. The average daily attendance for after-school programming at all nine Greater Scottsdale Clubs is 1,329.

To find a Branch near you or learn more about our programming, visit www.bgcs.org.