Great Futures Start Here

1 in 5 kids do not graduate high school on time. The state of Florida ranks 33rd among the 50 states with a low rate of high school graduation and a high percentage of children in poverty. Many students are left unsupervised after school when juvenile crime escalates. Without an education or a positive role model, youth often turn to crime. 

By creating an environment to learn and grow, a place where youth feel they belong, the kids of our community can learn to make better choices. The results are encouraging. Ninety percent of Boys and Girls Clubs' alumni have earned their high school diplomas. Even celebrities, including Denzel Washington and Jennifer Lopez, were among Boys and Girls Clubs members who learned to dream and create great futures for themselves. 

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast have eight clubs located in Pensacola, Destin, Fort Walton Beach DeFuniak Springs, South Walton, Crestview, Montclair and Kenwood. BGCEC are inspiring and empowering children ages kindergarten through 12th grade  to achieve their full potential.

The clubs have a mission of character and leadership that teach youth to become responsible, caring citizens, who contribute to the community. Health and life skill initiatives develop healthy behaviors and encourage personal goal setting, including healthy eating, exercise, safety, responsibility, and resisting negative peer pressures especially when it comes to drugs or alcohol. Arts programs allow kids to become culturally aware and creative. Fitness and recreation programs encourage teamwork, social and interpersonal skills as well as developing fitness. Each Club also has specialized programs unique to their area or the needs of their youth. 

“The Club means a lot to me. Before coming to Boys and Girls Clubs, I didn’t really believe in myself much,” said Daishawn K., Club member and “Youth of the Year” candidate. “The impact the Club has left on me is to strive for greatness. The Club Staff give me the message to encourage myself and believe that I can do or be anything I want in life if I work hard for it.” 

Published on Thursday, January 21, 2016