March 2019 Issue

From the Executive Director:
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Honestly, It’s for Everyone.

GRANTEE SPOTLIGHTS
YOUTH PATHWAYS TO SUCCESS

Boys & Girls Club

THRIVING PLACES

Literary Council

ECONOMIC GROWTH & OPPORTUNITY

Grow Nebraska


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Capital and Operating Grants Propel Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands to Increase Their Impact

Raising the Bar | Youth Pathways to Success | March 2019

In June of 2017, the Foundation awarded a $1.5 million grant to support the Clubs and You Capital Campaign. One year later, the Foundation awarded Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands a three-year $600,000 general operating support grant.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands (BGCM) is one of the largest youth-serving agencies in the Omaha metropolitan area. The non-profit aims to provide kids from ages 6 to 18 with impactful, fun, and educational opportunities in a safe environment outside of school hours.

A few years ago, the BGCM board members set a goal to double the number of youth they serve. Prior to 2016, BGCM served 1,400 children daily in various locations. Today they project that by the end of 2019, they will be serving 2,800 children a day. Expanding their facilities was a crucial factor in achieving this goal.

The foundation’s capital campaign grant helped BGCM with the construction of two new locations — one at Millard Central Middle School, the other at Florence Elementary School.

“A bond issue came forward for Florence Elementary School so we were able to align our construction with their upgrades,” said Ashley Winans, Chief Development Officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands. “We were able to update their existing club and add new space.”

Millard Central Middle School was chosen through a request for information in an effort to find area schools with the greatest need. “We looked at a variety of factors including schools with a high population of students participating in free or reduced-price lunch,” said Winans, “and Millard School District showcased a high need along with an ability to collaborate well.”

BGCM began construction in 2017 and both clubs opened in time for the start of the school year in August of 2018.

Youth ambassadors gave input into the development of the clubs. A group of eighth grade club members were asked what they would like to see in the various centers. They requested more sport activities and more STEM activities like virtual reality and drones.

The students were enthused that the Boys & Girls Clubs sought their opinion. They were proud to take part in the planning process.

These same students were lucky to be the first to “test run” the new facility at Millard Central. And now that they are freshmen in high school, BGCM hopes they will be ambassadors and encourage friends to explore what BGCM has to offer.

“Our reach goes further than ever before,” said Winans. The non-profit serves elementary school children up to youth preparing for college. And with a high number of alums on the BGCM staff (including their CEO and Board President), the reach can be lifelong.

“We are so grateful to the Foundation because their gift was instrumental in helping us build these Clubs. We wouldn’t be where we are without their support. It is so clear they have a genuine care for our work.”

– Ashley Winans, Chief Development Officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands

BGCM’s clubs are first and foremost, a safe place to go after school, and these new facilities serve the organization’s larger mission to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, healthy and caring members of society.