WHAT: Leaders and participants from our Clubs visit the Capitol of Puerto Rico serving as a voice for the more than 12,000 children, youth and their families who have attended our Clubs.
WHY: There they share with the senators and representatives the impact results of the organization and the critical need for public investment in child and youth development. In addition, they obtain support for programs in the organization that enable them to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.
RESULT: Ten of the 34 senators and representatives who met with our staff and participants, endorsed the assignation of 2.5 million in legislative donations to our organization in order for us to continue our promise of service.
We thank the senators, representatives and their staff for receiving us and demonstrating their commitment to the future of Puerto Rico.
Youth Leadership Summit
WHAT: The program exposes participants to experiences that strengthen their leadership and service skills through our Keystone Clubs.
Keystone Clubs are aimed at young people aged 14 to 18 and are generally composed of 12-15 members per Club who meet weekly.
HOW: As part of the experience, participants develop community projects focused on improving their surroundings and present these to the rest of the Clubs.
This year, 40 members of Keystone Clubs participated in 11 of our Clubs (all except Vieques), being the first time the Bayamón Club participates.
RESULT: The first place was received by the project created at the Luis Llorens Torres Residential Club and the second place by the project created at the Isabela Club.
The Luis Llorens Torres Residential Club executed a continuation of the newspaper La Voz de Llorens, that won last year, but this time adding a YouTube channel and a Facebook page to make visible the positive aspects of the community and promote public policy in favor of residents, in addition to solutions to their most pressing problems such as lack of access to health services and lack of pedestrian bridges that connect them with surrounding communities.
The Isabela Club project consisted of promoting awareness and inclusion of people with functional diversity. The initiative included the creation of the story “Diversity.”
The rest of the projects were focused on recycling and use of recycled material in the construction of musical instruments and other products (Club of San Lorenzo); digital literacy (Club de Aguas Buenas), reinforcement of learning and academic skills of lagged Club participants (Club de Mayagüez); visibility and organization of influential community leaders in the communities so that they continue to motivate and inspire the residents of the community (Las Margaritas); Keystoners participation (as members are called) in recreational and educational activities of the Club (Loíza); care and affection for elderly people abandoned by their relatives; creation of a coloring book as part of the initiative to promote values in the children of the Club and communities (Bayamón); project to promote and educate about gender equality through a rolling mural (Vimenti); and a project to serve participants with functional diversity in their Club (Arecibo).
This year the leaders of social development also received workshops of skills they can share with the participants to develop their leadership. Also, participants received workshops in the correct use of social media, as well as mindfulness.
Youth of the Year
WHAT: Youth of the Year is the premier leadership development and recognition program. It highlights youth’s contribution to their family, school, community and Club, as well as the personal challenges they have faced and the obstacles they have overcome.
HOW: The program is promoted throughout the year in the Clubs, promoting good character, personal development and leadership skills among youth. Each year, Club members are honored monthly and at the end of the year, the Clubs have the opportunity to select one member to represent their Club in the island wide Youth of the Year Event. In this local event, a jury, composed of professional leaders and public figures choose BGCPR’s Youth of the Year. The winner receives scholarships for university studies and becomes the official spokesperson for Puerto Rican youth.
Also, participates in the Northeast regional competition at the level of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Then, five regional winners are selected, who receive a $ 10,000 scholarship and compete in July in Washington, D.C. for the title of Young of the Year of the United States.
Since the program began in 1947, the five regional winners are recognized at a breakfast at the United States Congress. The National Youth of the Year winner receives an additional $ 15,000 scholarship.
RESULTS: For one year, BGCPR Youth of the Year is the representative and spokesperson for more than 15,500 children and youth impacted by BGCPR. During that year, the Youth of the Year participates in groups or forums that deal with issues that concern youth and represents the role of BGCPR in the transformation of the lives of children and youth. As spokesperson, the Youth of the Year participates in various activities with important government, business, civic and community leaders.