Porter County Press

Boys & Girls Clubs – A Vital Part of the Education Equation

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County:

A Vital Part of the Education Equation


Valparaiso, IN – October 26, 2010 – As an affiliate of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County was recently made aware by the national organization of the current high school dropout crisis. Thirty percent of all of America’s high school students fail to graduate on time. Almost one-half of African-American and Latino males do not graduate.

Nationally, in the class of 2010, more than 1.3 million members did not receive diplomas.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County serves members ages 6 through 18 at each of our Clubs located in Valparaiso, South Haven, Portage, Chesterton and at our nine Kidstop locations.
Much is written about the impact of teachers and parents in determining the academic success of students, but the influence of out-of-school time and summer youth programs is also important. According to a recent national Harris Interactive survey of Boys & Girls Clubs alumni, 90 percent graduate from high school or obtain a GED, and roughly two-thirds of them credit Club staff with having made a positive impact upon their success in high school.

Always mindful of its potential affect upon its young members, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County is continuing to emphasize three major aspects of youth development: academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles.

Recently, we received an e-mail message from Denzel Washington, an alumnus and for 18 years the spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

“Our goal is simple to state but hard to achieve,” Washington said. “We want to help every Boys & Girls Clubs member advance to the next grade level every year, and graduate from high school on time, prepared with the attitude, knowledge and confidence to achieve his or her full potential. It’s what we mean by ‘Great futures start here.’”

“Great futures start here” is the newly adopted slogan of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

This is more than a slogan for one club member in particular.  South Haven Club member, Dawn Williams has not only achieved academic success as a result of attending the Boys & Girls Club, but was selected as the Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year for the state of INDIANA.

Now a senior at Portage High School, Dawn continues to be active at her Club and plans to pursue a degree in Sports Medicine after she graduates next year.  Dawn is living proof that Boys & Girls Club programs really work.

On behalf of the more than 5,100 young people we serve, we hope you will join our effort in solving the high school dropout crisis a community-wide priority.  It’s the best investment we can make to ensure a great future.

For more information on ways you can become involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County or to make a monetary donation, contact 219-464-7282 or visit www.bgcpoco.org