Volume 31 | March 16, 2021
Kou Her (top row) pictured with his volleyball team at the East Side Club following last week's Youth of the Year event.
Celebrating BGCTC's 2021 Youth of the Year: Kou Her!

Last Thursday, March 11, our six Twin Cities Youth of the Year candidates presented their speeches to a panel of judges during our ((virtual)) BGCTC 2021 Youth of the Year event. Kou Her, the teen nominated by our East Side Club, gave a compelling speech recounting his childhood in a single-parent household and how he discovered a "feeling of being home" at the Clubs. Following an amazing performance by West Side Club teens Makenna Bishop and Rhiana Ciceron, our judges reconvened to declare Kou the winner of BGCTC's 2021 Youth of the Year title!

We also applaud Amahn, Chia, Nyagach, Randy, and Syrron for representing their Clubs with tremendous passion and poise -- we are so proud! A big thanks also goes to our BGCTC Board members Jenny Pringle, Raymond Chiu, and John Thomas for serving as our judges this year, and to Chad Jackson for emceeing our event!

Kou will go on to represent the Twin Cities at the Minnesota Youth of the Year competition on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Congratulations, Kou!
Thomas*, a high school freshman, has been attending the Little Earth Club for the past eight years. He enjoys coming to the Club to get exercise, help with homework, and life advice, and also to spend time learning with his peers and engaging in positive activities.

During the pandemic, the Club has provided Thomas with nutritious food, a Chromebook to use for virtual learning, a fun, positive community, and strong mentorship to help him create a healthier lifestyle physically, mentally, and emotionally. Thomas says he feels safe coming to the Club and is surrounded by friends and staff who make sure he has the skill set he needs to stay positive and build a successful future.

*Name changed for privacy.
Please support the Healthy Lifestyles of our young people TODAY by making a donation to Growing Strong! Your gift will have a year-round positive impact on the youth and families we serve.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities’ (BGCTC) Healthy Lifestyles strategy develops young people’s capacity to live healthfully by educating youth about fitness, nutrition, and smart health decisions. Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, our strategy is more critical than ever to ensure Club members receive the wraparound support they need to navigate a challenging time in our community and world. With your contribution, BGCTC can continue to equip youth and teens with the tools they need to be advocates for their own health and wellness during changing times.

Remember, thanks to Lube-Tech, donations received by March 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar for the first $10,000 in donations, so your gift will go twice as far for ALL BGCTC youth!
Ke'la Scuefield
2020 Minnesota Youth of the Year

Ke’la Scuefield, an alumni member of our Patrick Henry Club, is truly a bright and uplifting force among the younger generation. An inspired optimist and a Club member for over seven years, Ke'la is a self-avowed anime enthusiast and connoisseur of "dad jokes". In the Clubs, Ke’la’s past endeavors included significant involvement in a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project, which involved the facilitation of focus groups to gather data on various mental health topics in communities of color, and her group later had the honor of presenting their project at the Beacons National Conference in San Francisco. Ke’la also received recognition for her leadership qualities through Beacons’ Big Homies mentoring program. 

Ke’la was nominated as Patrick Henry's Youth of the Year and became BGCTC's 2020 Youth of the Year. She also won the title of 2020 Minnesota Youth of the Year during a virtual presentation, following the cancellation of in-person Youth of the Year events due to safety concerns surrounding the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Ke'la is currently attending Morgan State University, a prestigious HBCU in Maryland, to pursue a career as a social worker.
Thank You for Supporting Cooking with the Clubs!
Thanks to the generosity of attendees and supporters during our very first Cooking with the Clubs ((virtual)) event in February, we are so excited to announce that we raised nearly $50,000 to support our Healthy Lifestyles youth programming!

We hope you enjoyed following along with our featured local chefs, mixologists, brewers, and sommeliers to create your spectacular dishes and drinks. We had a wonderful time creating delicious apple donut appetizers during our live cooking demonstration with Miss Minnesota Kathryn Kueppers!

To learn more about this event and our partners, or to view the live event recording, please use the link below.
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 Reg Chapman (Reporter, CBS News/WCCO-TV) and Annie Moua (BGCTC Club Alumni) 
  • 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 featuring musical BINGO for a chance to win prizes!

COST: Free to attend, with option to purchase a VIP Benefit Box full of exciting items to create your very own watch party at home.
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 akuehn@bgc-tc.org or 612-616-6172.
Senator Amy Klobuchar Receives BGCA's ‘Champion of Youth’ Award
Boys & Girls Clubs of America recognized Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) as one of the recipients of their 2021 Champions of Youth Award. The honor was presented at the organization’s seventh annual National Days of Advocacy where nearly 500 Boys & Girls Club leaders, volunteers and youth from across the nation virtually met with members of Congress to advocate on behalf of America’s youth.

“Boys & Girls Clubs in Minnesota serve as incredible support systems to help young people achieve their full potential,” said Senator Klobuchar. “During the pandemic, they’ve served meals to those in need, offered virtual programming for students, and provided childcare to our essential workers. I am honored to receive their Champions of Youth award and remain committed to working together to advance opportunities for young people and strengthen our communities.”

Read more about BGCA's National Days of Advocacy here.
Celebrating Our Next Generation of Women Leaders

Experience tells us strong female leaders aren’t born, they’re made. At Boys & Girls Clubs, we teach girls, young women and all youth to dream big. We offer a safe, inclusive space where they can explore and develop skills they need to become problem-solvers, innovators and leaders. We know that positive mentors and experiences that shape self-confidence in youth can create a change that impacts the next generation. Keep reading to learn about a few of the ways our programs empower girls and young women with skills and opportunities to become the best version of themselves!

Skills Mastery and Resistance Training (SMART) Girls is a small-group health, fitness, prevention/ education and self-esteem enhancement program designed to meet the developmental needs of girls in three age groups. Through dynamic sessions, participatory activities, and mentoring opportunities with adult women, Club girls explore their own perspectives and examine societal attitudes and values as they build skills for eating right, staying physically fit, getting good health care, and developing positive relationships with peers as well as adults.
Youth Sports

BGCTC understands the importance of sports and sports leagues for our female members. Not only do sports empower youth and promote higher self-esteem, sports also motivate our young people to participate in other valuable programs.

The Lady Gambles girls' basketball team, founded at our Jerry Gamble Club in 1995, is just one great example of how our Clubs support girls and young women in sports. On the Lady Gambles team, 5th grade girls learn the importance of teamwork and a positive attitude while developing athletic skills and improving their fitness.
STEAM Programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) is a year-round educational component of our Academic Success program, combining innovation and creativity with STEAM enrichment. In our STEAM programs, young people are inspired to develop their knowledge and interest in some of the world’s fastest growing career fields. We work to engage young girls and other youth who are underrepresented in these disciplines, and prepare them for secondary STEAM education and STEAM careers. 
In Support of Our Communities

BGCTC recognizes the many emotions, fears, and concerns expressed in response to the numerous ongoing traumas being experienced among our Twin Cities communities, including the trial of Derek Chauvin soon to be underway in Minneapolis, the continued increase in violence against our Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities, and the enduring economic and systemic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an organization, we continue to strengthen our commitment to safety and care, connecting with support networks in our Club communities and revisiting various safety procedures in each Club. As always, we will continue working to support conversations of inclusion, unity, and justice however and wherever we can.

If you or someone you know is in need of support, please reach out to a Club location near you.
Weekend Family Meals Program

Since resuming our Weekend Family Meals Program on February 13, we have provided 200 families of four people with two family meals per weekend - over 2,000 meals so far!

Following feedback from our families, we have made a shift to sourcing meals from BIPOC-owned restaurants and caterers local to each of our communities, including La Tejana, Native Food Perspectives, Qoya Cooks, Soul to Soul Smokehouse, and Taqueria Los Paisanos. With support from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, we will continue the Weekend Family Meals Program through mid-April.
Travelers Insurance

Club Teens were able to spend two days with team members from Travelers Insurance learning the intricacies and importance of the insurance industry. As part of Travelers "Love What You Do" Community Engagement initiative, Travelers hosted two virtual career days featuring four of their team members each day who shared their educational paths, day-to-day responsibilities, and lessons they wished they knew as they were graduating from high school. Club teens were very curious about the insurance industry, asking questions about insurance fraud, entertainment insurance, and how badly a speeding ticket really does affect your insurance rate.
Stonebrooke Equipment & Pritchard EV

Recently, Stonebrooke Equipment partnered with Pritchard Electric Vehicles as part of Pritchard's Purpose-Built National Tour, a campaign initiative designed to highlight the value of electric vehicles and develop partnerships with youth-serving nonprofits. The Stonebrook crew filled up a Pritchard electric delivery van with much-needed supplies and delivered it straight to our Mt. Airy Club!
Friends of the Club

Join BGCTC's Friends of the Club - our exclusive giving club for donors who give $100 or more per year to our organization! The generosity of our community members plays a significant role in shaping the future of our organization, especially during this challenging time for our Twin Cities community. For a $100 contribution each year - just $8.50 per month! - you can strengthen your commitment to help us enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Visit our website to learn more about Friends of the Club and other ways to support our organization!
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, by mail, or by texting OURKIDS to 243725

To make an in-kind donation of any of the items listed above within the coming weeks and months, please contact Molly Hemes at mhemes@bgc-tc.org 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 jprewett@bgc-tc.org, 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 | info@bgc-tc.org | boysandgirls.org