JULY 1, 2020 - JUNE 30, 2021
DEAR BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS COMMUNITY,
The COVID-19 pandemic forced our team at BGCMB to change a lot about the way we serve kids. One thing that didn’t change was our commitment to doing whatever it takes to ensure great futures.
From the first moments, BGCMB was determined to remain open and available to kids and families, understanding that for many of our youth the Club being closed could create high-risk situations. Embracing our role as an “essential” business, we forged ahead.
For nearly 80 weeks, averaging more than 10 hours per day, our team welcomed kids to the Club to support them through virtual learning and social distancing. We collaborated with our fellow Boys & Girls Clubs across the State to launch a new virtual platform, Clubhouse @YourHouse, and stepped up our food distribution program.
This year was also marked by a national reckoning around systemic racism, and we are proud to be playing an active role in both helping our communities heal and supporting our youth as they take a leading role in shaping a more equitable future. By adopting a trauma-informed approach, our youth development professionals are better equipped to help young people build resiliency in the face of adverse childhood experiences.
While the ripple effects of this virus remain to be fully understood, we know far too many kids and families find their bright futures at risk. That’s why we’ve introduced more robust programs and targeted services with two stated purposes: bolstering core academic competencies to mitigate learning loss and strengthening the emotional health and well-being of youth.
We are grateful to all of you, our supporters, for standing with us through every step of the pandemic. As we continue to respond to our communities’ most pressing needs and build a bridge to normal Club operations, we call on passionate individuals like you, to restore safe, happy, hopeful futures for our young people.
President & CEO
WHO WE ARE
For over 10 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore (BGCMB) has provided high-quality, community-based youth development services to youth, ages 6 to 18, in greater Baltimore. Our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.
We focus on academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character and leadership, and job readiness. Our Formula for Impact is based on extraordinary staff, targeted programs and ensuring regular attendance and an optimal experience in our Clubs.
“It’s been quite a year for Kendill. His grandfather passed away in December and his father passed away in April. He lost the two most important men in his life within six months. Then we moved to North Carolina. The Club’s virtual programming has been a godsend because it kept him connected to his friends during these trying months. He had somewhere to go every day, something to depend on.”
- Monique, Aunt of club kid
WHO WE SERVE
Our Clubs are located in neighborhoods with the fewest resources for youth, and we are open when youth need us the most—after school, on school holidays, and all day during the summer.
PROVIDED A SAFE PLACE AND LIFE-CHANGING PROGRAMMING TO
OF MEMBERS ARE FROM HISTORICALLY UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS
BUILDING TRUST BETWEEN YOUTH & LAW ENFORCEMENT
In recognition of the tenuous relationship that law enforcement often maintains with underserved communities, the Maryland Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs developed a new program that uses photography as a catalyst to improve relationships between adolescents and police officers.
Over the course of nine weeks, Photovoice - Through Our Lens engages youth in conversations about their experiences with and perceptions of law enforcement in a safe environment that honors and makes space for communities with deep histories of trauma. The program concludes with a gallery walk that brings together youth, community members and law enforcement.
“Multiple times a [Club] kid I know has experienced a traumatic event, and because they trust me, they felt more open to telling me what’s going on. It’s made it a lot easier to respond to emergency situations.”
– Baltimore Police Officer, Rashad Hamond
JUNIOR STAFF PROGRAM OFFERS TEENS THEIR FIRST JOBS
Two teen members, Kevin and Mo’Riyah, earned their first job as Junior Staff members for the course of our eight-week summer camp. As Junior Staff members teens, complete a Club apprenticeship in which they develop interpersonal skills, work ethic and a sense of community responsibility, while exploring a career in the helping profession.
Kevin, 16, first set foot in the Club to play basketball. He connected with Ms. Asia, a youth development professional who shared his love for music. “I was talking to [Ms. Asia] about my interest, and we started talking about making a studio at the Club. One thing led to another, and they made it happen. We have a studio right now,” gushed Kevin about the recording studio in our O’Donnell Heights Club.
“It's a lot of resources here. They helped me get two jobs. I met a lot of people, and I have made a lot of connections since being here. If I didn't come here, I don't know where I would be."
– Kevin, 16
Kevin spent increasingly more time in the Club and in spring 2021, he was chosen to represent the O’Donnell Heights Club in the annual Youth of the Year competition. Though he wasn’t crowned our 2021 Youth of the Year—that title was awarded to fellow Junior Staff member, Mo’Riyah—Kevin went on secure his first job at the Club as a Junior Staff member. And shortly afterward, a second job! Following on-site interviews, Kevin was hired alongside two fellow Club teens at Old Navy.
When he reflects on his journey at the Club, Kevin explains: “It’s a lot of resources here. They helped me get two jobs. I met a lot of people, and I have made a lot of connections since being here. If I didn’t come here, I don’t know where I would be.”
“I just wanted to express my appreciation to the Boys & Girls Club for being a valuable resource to our students here in Brooklyn. In my role as a school social worker, I provide services to a student who attends Boys & Girls Club and I am able to see firsthand how all the safety precautions are in place. This student really benefits from an environment such as the Boys & Girls Club [and] is now on task in all of his classes. Keep up the great work!”
- social worker, Maree G. Farring Elementary Middle
RESPONDING WITH RESILIENCE
When life as we knew it changed, we innovated to continue delivering life-changing programming and positive outlets.