There are a lot of fresh faces in our Teen Center this summer and we are loving the positivity our older Club members are displaying as role models and mentors to our elementary youth. That said, we know this past year has weighed heavily on them as well, so we have been focused on a lot of social emotional learning activities, making sure our teens feel connected to our staff and comfortable expressing themselves. Our Club Climate members recently took time to survey their peers to help them share their voice about what they need and how they feel while they are at the Boys & Girls Club. This awesome group is on a mission to help make Club an even more positive and inclusive place!
When we’re not working to help our teens better understand themselves and the world around them, we’re encouraging them to get involved and be active in other fun programs and field trips. For instance, a group of teens participated in their first of three Gritxpectations basketball sessions a couple weeks ago, building skills and participating in drills to learn more about the game of basketball. Another group took a little road trip up to Appleton to get EXTREME at Xtreme Air, a few more were treated to a tour of Moraine Park Technical College, and some even enjoyed a great hike at Kohler-Andrae State Park. If you haven’t been there, GO! It’s absolutely beautiful!
We always enjoy talking about our partnerships in the community, and for our teens, it’s crucial to learn about ALL of their options when it comes to post-secondary education and career options beyond high school graduation. Because our community relies heavily on its manufacturing industry, we make it a priority to expose our teens to as many of these businesses possible. Our friends at Integrity Saw & Tool Inc. recently gave a group of our teens an amazing tour of their facility. They had so much fun learning about the awesome work IST does and why it’s important to so many other businesses near and far; because without the tools that IST makes, businesses would not be able to build the products they market and sell. Throughout the tour, there were a lot of smiles, laughs, “Wow!” comments and even some questions from our teens asking how THEY can score a gig with IST!
Another great partnership we’re proud of is with our banking friends at Associated Bank. They happen to have a fantastic “Money Matters” program and we are so thankful they are willing to visit us periodically and share their knowledge with our Club members. Associated Bank strongly believes that you are never too young to start learning about finances and how to effectively manage your dollars, and we couldn’t agree more!
Lastly, some of our teens had the amazing opportunity to visit the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh earlier this month and hear Mona Dixon, a motivational speaker, talk about her time being homeless and the steps she took to become what she is today; a speaker, a National Youth of the Year, U.S. Presidential CNCS Appointee and on her way to her PhD! Her message was clear – you can be anything you want to be. She also lead the teens through a workshop and discussed how to use the resources you have at hand to start planning for your future. The teens made vision boards and discussed their goals as a group. So valuable!