New Boys & Girls Club in Pocomoke High Guides Teens Toward their Future Careers
Pictured: Club members, staff, and a police officer following a Badges for Baseball event
In April, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore (BGCMB) opened its newest Club inside Pocomoke High School to serve teens (ages 13 – 18). Not only does the Club’s location make it easy for members to travel to the Club, but it also provides staff with access to unique spaces and resources to enhance the Club experience. For example, Pocomoke High School has six kitchen workspaces, so Club staff organize cooking classes every Tuesday.
Teen programming rest on the same pillars as programming for younger students (i.e., education, the arts, character & leadership, health & wellness, and sports & recreation), but is designed specifically to prepare youth for a successful future after high school. To ensure programming is reflective of teens’ interests, Club staff asked members to complete a survey indicating their career interests. Based on the responses, staff, under the direction of Club Manager Lori Becker, have worked diligently to connect members with their fields of interest.
Diamond, 15, aspires to work in the medical field, perhaps even as a surgeon, and Gianna, 13, is interested in working with kids or possibly owning a bakery. To stoke their interest, Becker is working to schedule both a medical professional and a teacher from the high school to speak with members about careers in their respective fields. Guest speakers are a great resource for members to practice networking, which can lead to real-work experiences such as internships and apprenticeships.
Pictured: Gianna (left) and Diamond (right)
Before arriving at BGCMB, Becker had already worked with youth for more than 30 years including as a coach at Pocomoke High for six years. Her husband is also a teacher at the school. “I try to be around youth and make a difference. I hope to teach them important skills for life,” Becker explained. These connections make Becker uniquely suited to lead the new Club.
Jenifer Rayne, principal of Pocomoke High School, has already seen the positive impact of having a Club inside the school: “Boys & Girls Clubs has been a game changer for the youth. Children in the middle and high school grades, especially, need engaging, positive, community-based activities. Boys & Girls Clubs not only provides these activities but also teaches critical life skills such as financial literacy and time management. The ability to host this valuable program within the walls of Pocomoke High School allows students to participate in offerings in a space conducive to learning and spending positive time with peers.”
Following a successful summer camp, BGCMB looks forward to growing Club membership in the 2022-2023 school year.