Boys and Girls Clubs Continue to Serve Coast Kids
Every day, millions of kids are left unsupervised after school lets out. How kids spend those after-school and summer hours can significantly impact their lives.
Without direction children often find trouble, and their personal safety and emotional security can be compromised. For older kids, being unsupervised after school and during the summer increases the likelihood that they will become involved in criminal activity, develop a substance-abuse problem, or engage in early sexual activity or other high-risk behaviors.
Children with access to a safe place with caring adult mentors and enriching programs have a significantly higher opportunity for success.
Boys & Girls Clubs fill the gap between school and home, providing safe environments where kids have fun, participate in life-changing programs, and form supportive relationships with peers and caring adults. The mission of this organization is to inspire and enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
The Boys & Girls Clubs work to ensure that all children reach their potential through five main areas:
Sports and recreation.
Club programs help develop physical fitness, reduce stress and promote a positive use of time. The programs also promote an appreciation for the environment.
These programs are designed to ensure that all Club members graduate from high school on time, and are ready for a post-secondary education or a career.
These programs are designed to encourage creativity in young people, and give them outlets for self-expression. From photography to hip-hop dance, the arts programs have something that will inspire everyone.
Helping young people make good decisions.
These programs help young people to engage in positive behaviors that nurture well-being, help them set personal goals, and enable them to grow into self-sufficient adults.
Career Development/Building Job Skills and Career Paths.
Boys & Girls Clubs’ unique approach to workforce readiness prepares youth for success in their first jobs and helps them develop a plan to achieve their chosen careers.
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast serves over 1,000 youth per day at the following locations:
• IP Center at North Bay (10444 Lamey Street, D’Iberville). Phone: (228) 392-2183.
• Hancock County Unit (310 Old Spanish Trail, Bay St. Louis). Phone: (228) 467-9515.
• Qatar Center in Pass Christian (220 Church Street, Pass Christian). Phone: (228) 452-9791.
• 19th Street (3319 19th Street, Gulfport). Phone: (228) 206-7701.
• Forest Heights (201 Holly Circle, Gulfport). Phone: (228) 868-2526.
• East Biloxi Unit (390 Crusaders Drive, Biloxi). Phone: (228) 374-6654.
Volunteers are always needed at the Boys & Girls Clubs. Volunteering is a great way to help teach young people valuable life lessons. To volunteer, complete a volunteer application online at Bgcgulfcoast.org. All volunteers must be at least 18 years old.
Ashley Karcher lives in Ocean Springs with her husband and four children.