Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties advocate for youth in virtual event
Contact Name: Sara Bealor
Contact Email: email@example.com
Contact Phone Number: 941-366-3911
Leaders from Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties will join hundreds of Boys & Girls Clubs from across the country for Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s first Virtual National Days of Advocacy March 2-4. Club leaders will meet with members of Congress to advocate for the critical needs of kids and teens in America and to show the unique role Clubs serve in their communities.
“Clubs like ours are a critical asset for the community as we work to provide valuable afterschool programs to our country’s youth that enable them to achieve great futures,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO at Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. “We are honored to represent Sarasota and DeSoto Counties as we raise visibility of the needs of our area's youth, especially the ones who need us most, and show what we can accomplish with the support of our elected officials and our community.”
COVID-19 forced Boys & Girls Clubs to address new sets of challenges facing our youth. Clubs across the nation provided vital services along with a calming, steady presence for struggling families and communities. During this crisis, Boys & Girls Clubs partnered with public officials to help meet the larger needs of communities such as providing childcare for health care professionals and other essential workers, meals - sometimes the only ones kids can count on, and virtual learning to fill educational gaps. These positive impacts wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing support of elected officials, making events like National Days of Advocacy so important for local Club leaders.
This event allows Club leaders, members, volunteer leadership, and alumni to virtually meet with members of Congress and key staff to share their stories and discuss the critical issues currently facing youth and the inspirational ways Clubs are moving the needle for America’s young people. As part of the event, Club advocates are provided training, opportunities, and exposure designed to hone their advocacy expertise year-round. Advocacy at the federal, state and local levels is so important in making a difference in the lives of young people.
Federal programs, like the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) and the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Youth Mentoring program, are a crucial component that makes Clubs and the youth they serve successful. The 21st CCLC initiative helps improve academic achievement and keeps young people safe during afterschool hours when juvenile crime peaks. Through the Department of Justice Youth Mentoring Fund, Clubs served 34,000 youth in all 50 states and at overseas military installations with a focus on at-risk youth, Native youth, delinquency and gang prevention, and military youth. Both these programs help young people succeed in school, work and life.
“Boys & Girls Clubs champion opportunities for all youth, equipping young people with the experiences and tools they need to succeed,” said Sadlo. “Our advocacy isn’t just a one-day event. We are raising our voices every single day, to ensure top issues and solutions impacting young people are prioritized in our community, our state and at the national level.”
ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF SARASOTA AND DESOTO COUNTIES:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties has been a leading youth-serving organization since 1970, and provides enriching after-school and summer programs to thousands of youth, ages 6 to 18, in Sarasota, Venice, North Port and Arcadia. The organization’s mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need services the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The programs are designed to empower youth to excel in school, become leaders, adopt healthy habits and create plans for success after high school graduation. For more information, visit bgcsdc.org or call 941-366-3911.