The Issue: Positive Influences and Activities for Youth
Kiana Knolland had many obstacles on her path to success. She grew up in a single-parent home, her mother had health problems, and the national dropout rate while she was in school hovered around 10%. Yet Kiana has not only poised herself on the brink of a law career, she’s become the 2013–14 National Youth of the Year and a positive role model for children in similarly difficult circumstances. The key to her success: solid determination and the extracurricular activities and positive influences of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.<p>
The Campaign: Funding Programs to Empower Kids
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Boys & Girls Clubs of America to provide children with the positive activities and influences necessary for success. Every $10 raised will help Boys & Girls Clubs of America fund programs to empower children across the country. Activities, such as building robots, planning community-service projects, and producing plays, help youth develop strong character, learn about democracy, and choose healthy lifestyles. <p>
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
In 1860, three women in Hartford Connecticut believed that the boys they saw lollygagging in the streets should have something better to do with their time. So they made sure they did. They started a club that gave the boys constructive, community-based activities that helped forge their characters. In the 150 years since, this idea has spread from a community cause to a national sensation, with that first club inspiring more than 1,140 independent organizations to form since. Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of America reach more than 4,000 communities, giving children—including the child versions of spokespeople Denzel Washington and Jennifer Lopez—positive outlets for their spare time.
The Clubs' programs touch on everything from volunteer-service days to bake sales and zoo field trips. Yet no matter what the specific activity, participating students gain a connection with and respect for their community, enhancing their communication skills and self-esteem. The organization also focuses on specific goals through tailored programs, helping build leadership skills, artistic talents, or the knowledge necessary to compete in the job market.