Boys & Girls Clubs of America Announces “Agenda for America’s Youth” Out of School time provider champions solutions impacting the nation’s youth
Phoenix, AZ – September 25, 2019 — Boys & Girls Clubs of America launched their “Agenda for America’s Youth” advocacy platform, focusing on the top issues and solutions impacting the nation’s young people. The organization also released the “Agenda for America’s Youth Policy Guide,” which outlines the current needs of young people while proposing policies and solutions to address them. The guide serves as a framework for local Boys & Girls Clubs to utilize in addressing the issues and challenges of their own community’s young people.
“Every day, 60+ Boys & Girls Clubs around the State open their doors to thousands of youth, giving them a safe place to play, learn, and explore. Affordable out-of-school-time care helps families ensure their students can be in a place with caring adults, who are focused on their educational, social and emotional development,” said Marcia Mintz, CEO for Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix.
Supporting America’s youth has never been more urgent in our nation's history. Currently, 11.3 million school-age children are home alone afterschool, without adult supervision, one out of six students fails to graduate on time and nearly half of youth don’t believe the American dream is possible. But it doesn't have to be this way. Clubs make a difference in the lives of kids and teens every day: 97% of Club teens expect to graduate from high school, and 83% of members believe they can make a difference in their community.
Out-of-school time is at the forefront of our agenda because we believe it is the critical vehicle for accomplishing these solutions for kids and teens, including ensuring Safer Childhoods so every child feels safe physically and emotionally, not just in Clubs, but everywhere. Clubs not only make kids’ childhoods safer, they build the resiliency that will last young people a lifetime. We will champion issues that support youth in making positive decisions and embracing Healthy Lifestyles & Wellness. We prepare youth for life after the Club with Education, Leadership opportunities and Workforce Readiness, equipping them with the skills they need for success in the workforce while fostering partnership that create access to real-life experiences to explore career options. When every young person has access to quality out-of-school time opportunities, when they’re safe emotionally and physically, when they are healthy and when they have the leadership skills for great futures — that is how we ensure equity and inclusion for all young people
Clubs are trusted voices in communities across the country — located in nearly every Congressional district, with over 4,600 sites serving more than 4.7 million youth annually, Clubs are in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in Boys & Girls Clubs of America-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs are open every day after school and, as data indicates, provide programming that give young people access to skills, opportunities and valuable mentors that give them the opportunity to succeed.
Marcia Mintz concluded, “As one of the largest youth serving organizations in the State, Boys & Girls Clubs takes seriously their responsibility to advocate on behalf of not only the 112,000 youth we serve, but all of Arizona’s youth. Our Agenda for America’s Youth will bring into specific focus those areas where we can support their development, and help them realize their full potential as productive, caring, responsible members of the community.”