Volume 32 | April 15, 2021
Minnesota Youth of the Year

On Wednesday, April 14, Youth of the Year candidates from Boys & Girls Clubs around Minnesota gathered virtually to compete for education scholarships and the title of Minnesota Youth of the Year. Following an introduction by FOX 9 reporter and BGCTC Associate Board President Kendall Mark, the event kicked off with special messages of encouragement from Minnesota Twins player Byron Buxton, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, United FC player DJ Taylor, Lynx forward Natalie Achonwa, and Wild player Jordan Greenway. Minnesota Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan and U.S. Senator Tina Smith also contributed wonderful words of congratulations to our youth participants.

During the candidates' remarks, Kou Her (2021 BGCTC Youth of the Year) shared about how he comes to the Clubs almost every day to seek support from Club staff and enjoy social time with his peers. His future plans include studying computer science and pursuing a career in IT or media. Then after brief remarks from 2020 Minnesota Youth of the Year and BGCTC alum Ke'la Scuefield, our youth candidates reconvened to await the winner's announcement.

Gezelle O., Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester's Youth of the Year, was named the winner of the 2021 Minnesota Youth of the Year Title - congratulations, Gezelle! We are very proud of Kou and all of this year's candidates for their hard work, dedication, and excellent representation of Boys & Girls Clubs around the state of Minnesota.
In Support of Our Communities

BGCTC recognizes the overwhelming weight of trauma, unrest, and emotion being experienced in many of our communities right now, especially regarding the shooting of Daunte Wright last Sunday evening in Brooklyn Center, which is home to many of our youth, families, and staff members. Yet another death of a young Black man and father at the hands of a Minnesota police officer is an unimaginable hurt against the backdrop of Derek Chauvin's trial currently underway in Minneapolis.

BGCTC is here to support Twin Cities youth and families in any way we can. If you or someone you know is in need of support or resources, or if you have access to resources that you wish to share with our communities, please reach out to us by contacting a Club near you.
Thank You for Helping Us Grow Strong!

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters during our Growing Strong campaign, we are excited to announce that we met the $10,000 match put forth by Lube-Tech! Throughout the month of March, we received contributions from nearly 100 donors, including many supporters who gave to our organization for the very first time!

We are so grateful for your support of our Healthy Lifestyles programming for youth, enabling our critical work to ensure the positive mental, emotional, and physical health of each young person we serve. Your donations are critical to helping us create a 
Culture of Wellness for all young people -- advancing food security and promoting good nutrition, providing safe spaces for healthy movement and play, and teaching foundational social and emotional learning skills. We're also grateful to Lube-Tech for their generous matching gift, and for their dedication to our youth and families!

If you would like to make an additional gift to Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities in support of the youth and families we serve, please use the link below. Thank you for your continued support!
Nyagach Kueth
Southside Village Club

Nyagach, a junior at Washburn High School in south Minneapolis, was named Southside Village Club's Youth of the Year in February. Nyagach describes herself as ambitious and fearless, and serves in her community as an organizer, builder, and coordinator. Following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, Nyagach participated in major community actions, leading local teen activists in organizing numerous demonstrations, including the sit-ins at the State Capitol, and raising over $80,000 on GoFundMe for businesses on Lake Street affected by the uprisings.

Nyagach gave an incredible spoken word performance at our Voices of the Future Annual Meeting event last November, as well as a stunning speech during our 2021 BGCTC Youth of the Year event. She was also honored with a Changemaker of the Year award from Minnesota Women's Press in December 2020! After graduating, Nyagach plans to attend Louisiana State University to achieve a Communications degree.
Work at Voyageur This Summer!

Our Voyageur Environmental Center in Mound, MN is hiring for the summer session! Open positions include Cabin Leaders, Waterfront Director, Outdoor Education Instructor, and more.

Voyageur’s overnight and day camp sessions instill an appreciation for nature and give youth a chance to experience how to be both leaders and valuable group members. Outdoor recreational activities include swimming, fishing, canoeing, nature hikes, and a variety of curriculum-based courses in outdoor survival and environmental education. Through Voyageur outdoor education, youth develop awareness and skills for their everyday lives.

Please apply using the link below! For any questions, please contact Mike McArthur at [email protected].
Remembering Ted Weyerhaeuser

Ted Weyerhaeuser, a longtime supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities, passed away suddenly on December 24, 2020. Ted served as a Board member with Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Paul before its merger with Boys & Girls Clubs of Minneapolis in 1999. Ted's work during the merger was integral to its success, and he stayed actively involved with our organization through the end of his life.

In addition to his time serving on our Board, Ted's values were reflected in his dedication to the boards of many other local nonprofits, including the United Way, the St. Paul Community Foundation, the Union Gospel Mission, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Macalester College, and the House of Hope Presbyterian Church.

Ted will be remembered for his great love of family, friends and community. He brought a levelheadedness and sense of responsibility to all that he did, whether he was in the boardroom, working at home, or spending time with his children and grandchildren. We are grateful for the time, care, commitment, and support that Ted gave to our organization, and our continued thoughts are with his family.
For the Kids!

Thursday, May 6
6:30pm (Virtual)

As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our youth, staff and community, we have decided this year to reimagine our annual For The Kids! Benefit as an inclusive ((virtual)) experience. Your support is now more important than ever! 

Please join us on Thursday, May 6 at 6:30pm from the comfort of your home to hear how BGCTC continues to create equitable opportunities for ALL young people and how your support can continue making a huge impact in creating hope for the future!

This year’s event features: 

  • Live ((virtual)) program co-hosted by Kendall Mark (FOX 9 News reporter and BGCTC Associate Board President) and Anaa Jibicho (BGCTC Club Alumni and 2019 Midwest Youth of the Year) 
  • Behind-the-scenes look into our BGCTC Clubs from the eyes of our youth and staff
  • Entertainment from our very own BGCTC youth 
  • Premier online auction experiences
  • Live ((virtual)) interactive after party game Jindo, a musical BINGO game, to win prizes! Jindo is hosted by Josh Johnson from GenerationNOW, the official DJ company for Minnesota Twins, Timberwolves, and United FC games

COST: Free to attend! **You must register to receive the link to join the event.**  You also have the option to purchase a VIP Benefit Box full of exciting items to create your very own watch party at home, including a charcuterie assortment, beverages, and branded goodies from our event partners - all for just $125!
DRESS CODE: Dress to impress from the waist up. Be creative!
All proceeds raised by our events go directly to our Clubs and programs. Your support helps us provide safe spaces and valuable growth opportunities for Twin Cities youth!
BECOME A CORPORATE PARTNER! Join other Twin Cities companies and community members for this special evening celebrating BGCTC and the important programming that is changing lives daily. Support for the BGCTC For the Kids! Benefit is an ideal opportunity for your company to gain visibility and access to hundreds of attendees representing leading companies from across a wide variety of industries.
For more information, or to donate an auction item, please contact our Director of Special Events, Amy Kuehn, at [email protected] or 612-616-6172.
Summer Reads

Do you or someone you know like working with youth ages K-12? Would you like professional experience and targeted training that looks great on your resume? Make a difference in a child’s life this summer by joining Summer Reads, an AmeriCorps VISTA program of Literacy Minnesota!

Summer Reads Mentors work together to fight the summer slide: a decline of literacy skills in children grades K-5 over the summer months. Mentors bring literacy to life through a variety of activities such as tutoring, gardening, movements, arts, storytelling and more. They serve full-time (40 hours/week) in the Twin Cities metro and greater Minnesota, including at our Clubs this summer!

To apply, visit the Summer Reads website to find more information and links to the MyAmeriCorps applications for these positions.
Minnesota United FC and Target

The Minnesota United and Target are partnering with us at our Mt. Airy Club to renovate the gym space and turn an unused space into a STEM Innovation Lab. Target has made a significant investment in the project through their partnership with the Minnesota United utilizing funds that would have otherwise been earmarked for gameday and in-game activations during the MLS season. This project is currently underway and moving quickly. Stay tuned for more information on these beautifully finished spaces coming soon!
Minnesota Timberwolves and US Bank

In partnership with the Minnesota Timberwolves and US Bank, we are currently working on major renovations of our gym facilities at both our Southside Village Club and Jerry Gamble Club. Improvements will include updates to the structures, new equipment, and fresh paint and branded graphics.
Major League Baseball

With funding from Major League Baseball, BGCTC's East Side Club is receiving a complete transformation of their teen room space! With input from our teens, the upgrades include new AV technology, a programmable stage and digital lighting system, new computers and wireless printer, a Tech Garage for storage and charging, new furnishings that can be configured for a variety of teen programming uses, and a new vibrant color scheme. The teen room at East Side has not been renovated for over 10 years, so we are very excited about this update to the space and technology that will better serve our teens and delivery of Teen Pathways programming.
How You Can Help
While social distancing measures are currently limiting the types of volunteer opportunities available at our Clubs, please consider supporting BGCTC in the following ways:

  • Donate non-perishable food items, hygiene and cleaning supplies, school supplies, games, and activities for Club kids and families
  • Sew or donate masks for Club staff
  • Promote our organization on social media to build awareness
  • Share employment resources for families
  • Write encouraging notes to our kids or Club staff
  • Make a monetary donation online or by mail.

To make an in-kind donation of any of the items listed above within the coming weeks and months, please contact Molly Hemes at [email protected] to arrange a drop-off time at one of our Clubs.
Share Your Club Story

Do you have a story to tell about our Clubs? We'd love to hear about your experiences as a member, alumni, volunteer, or partner. Your story could even be featured in an upcoming newsletter or social media spotlight!

We appreciate opportunities to share the stories of our BGCTC family. Please send your stories to [email protected], and we will reach out to you soon. Thank you!
You Can Change a Child's Life

With your support, we can continue to provide life-changing academic, leadership, and healthy lifestyles programming to youth across the Twin Cities.
Thank You to our Corporate Partners!
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities | 651-726-2582 | [email protected] | boysandgirls.org