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/.