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  • Writer's pictureBGC Metro Baltimore

'Lights On Afterschool' Makes Brooklyn O'Malley Glow With Promise

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Picture of Light: BGCMB staff and members pose in front of their bright masterpiece.

Lights On Afterschool 2022 was a nationally celebrated day of recognition acknowledging all the effective out-of-school time programs giving youth mentorship and a place to learn and create. Last week, members at our Brooklyn O’Malley Club took part in the festivities inspired by the Afterschool Alliance and had the chance to show and tell how Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore enrich their lives. ‘Boys & Girls Clubs Is The Place Where..’ was the theme as members sat down and began putting colors to their light bulbs and took a group photograph in front of the giant light bulb unifying all their thoughts into one. Then there was a glow party to close out this day of illuminating the Club where they play, learn and grow every day. Along with Brooklyn O’Malley Club Manager Tianda Hendricks and Youth Development Coordinator Yaquica Gonzalez, Club Coordinator Trent Jones also enjoyed watching Club members have fun, but truly understands the significance of this ‘lit’ extravaganza is not just about lights.

The Many Colorful Scenes of Lights On Afterschool 2022: Brooklyn O'Malley Style.

"Boys & Girls Clubs is different from your standard recreation centers," Trent says as he starts about why our organization is incomparable to others. "We provide mentorship. We provide more than just a space with how we offer our members support. Our members see our Club as a safe space, a place where they can express themselves freely without judgement and know that our entire staff really wants to see them grow and succeed."

Lighting The Bulb: Trent helps members add to the Lights On Afterschool project.

The academic, emotional and social facets of a typical day at any BGCMB are all preceded with a snack and followed by a nourishing meal to close the day is why BGCMB’s interest-piquing curriculum helps members to explore more so that they can do more in life. Our collective focus on preparing the Club to welcome members also defines how we get them ready to walk back out into their neighborhoods--and realities they each face daily outside of our Blue Doors. This is what makes the work of Club Staff a resource for those members seeking a mentor’s guidance along with an open ear to help them thrive no matter the barriers each faces in their own realities.

This holiday was also a time for our board members to stop by and meet the dedicated Brooklyn O’Malley staff along with getting the chance to see the bright promise of our Great Futures up close. Days like this help to narrow the gap that is often between board members and the audience their dedication looks to help. Chris Handwerk was a board member who came to celebrate with our members and to see firsthand how our mission connects members to new opportunities in the future as they continue to grow.

“Places like the Boys & Girls Clubs highlight the important responsibility we all have in creating environments that keep our kids safe, help working families, and inspire learning, which is the chartered focus of the Lights On Afterschool event,” Chris says before expressing why he’s glad to be a part of The Movement. “I am proud to support such a great organization like BGCMB that provides opportunities to help Baltimore’s youth develop into successful adults. I am especially grateful for the tireless efforts of the club staff that make it all possible.”

The Brooklyn O’Malley Club represents the structure seen and experienced at all our locations. Sound outreach that leaves a positive influence on our next generation is what BGCMB provides to our members so that they can do the same for the generation of young leaders who will soon be gaining insight from their words.

Want to see more Lights On Afterschool footage or learn what else is happening at BGCMB Clubs? Click here see more of the glow party and here to find out about all the news furthering The Movement.

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