Summer programs are vital for kids and families that may lack access to resources during the summer months while away from school. Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County’s Co-CEO, Christopher Gentile, joined Inside South Florida to share how the organization provides fundamental resources to the community.
“We've been here since 1965. We serve over 2,000 kids a day and over 10,000 kids a year. The kids we serve are really trying to focus on surviving,” says Gentile. “Our objective is to get the kids in a safe place surrounded by their peers, mentors and staff, and to give them access to programs and resources that are going to help shape and change their lives.”
The mission of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County is to encourage its kids to meet their full potential.
“Our pillars are academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles. You have to make sure the kids are on track academically. We want to make sure everything that goes into their body, foodwise, is healthy,” says Gentile. “We also have programs to make sure that you're emotionally right. Lastly, being a good character showcases to other people that they appreciate what they have been given.”
The organization has created crucial programs for its members, but those programs would not be possible without its staff.
“Our most important asset is our staff. The programs are great but at the end of the day kids are going to look back and remember the staff that impacted their life,” says Gentile. “Our staff is fantastic. They're great. They do this work every single day.”
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County has also formed a special program designated to teens.
“The teens really were starving for attention. Our space really provides an opportunity for the kids to come in, hang out with their peers, and to be kids and teens,” says Gentile. “These programs that are really going to help shape their career and provide them opportunities for going to college or getting a good job.”
For more information, visit BGCBC.org
This Inside South Florida segment is paid for by Demesmin and Dover Law Firm.