A survey conducted by Harris Interactive, alumni reported that Boys & Girls Club continue to have both an immediate and long-lasting impact on their lives.
- Up 5% from 1999, 57% of alumni said the Club saved their life.
- Overall, 91% are satisfied with their adult life.
- 61% of alumni became more committed to their education because of Boys & Girls Clubs.
- 28% of alumni would have dropped out of high school if not for Boys & Girls Clubs.
- Nationally, 16% of all students do not go on to graduate from high school, while only 8% of Boys & Girls Club alumni did not finish.
- Nationally, 21% of African American males do not go on to graduate from high school, while only 2% of Boys & Girls Club African American males did not finish.
- Overall, 26% of Boys & Girls Clubs alumni earned a 4-year college degree. This rate is equal to the national benchmark, a remarkable achievement since many Club members come from disadvantaged circumstances.
- 34% of African American Boys & Girls Club male alumni earned a 4-year college degree, compared to the national rate of 16%.
- Overall, Boys & Girls Club alumni mirror the national average for high school graduation and college achievement. Again, this is notable considering the disadvantages circumstances of many Club members.
- 51% achieved a higher level of education than they thought possible.
The Boys & Girls Club instilled in me a strong sense of character, responsibility, and teamwork. My years at the Boys & Girls Club helped me to become the successful husband, father, professional, and community-minded individual that I am today.
I was raised by a single parent. We went to the Club after school and it was an excellent way to stay out of trouble. So many of the other kids that grew up with me have been in and out of trouble because of the lack of supervision and I think the Club directed me on the right path. I heard how some people say the Club was the best thing in their community—for me, it was the only thing in my community.
The Boys & Girls Club is looked at as a safe and positive place for kids. But it is so much more than that. True, it impacts a child’s life, like it did mine, but from a community and tax payers’ standpoint, kids who go to the Club don’t end up in prison. Kids who go here don’t end up on other forms of public assistance, because they get skills. An investment in the clubs today reaps 10 times the benefit in the future. The more we can do to keep the clubs open, to keep the kids there, the more it’s going to save us money in the long run. It’s a great place now. It’s a greater place later.
The Club means as much to the parents as to the kids. Most parents, like mine, have to work during spring breaks and school vacations… and knowing that your kids, first and foremost are getting some quality education to augment their school day, there’s no better program.
I think the Club means more to the families than they realize. Now they have computers and homework help in addition to the activities they had when I was there. And now they have pool tables. We had ping-pong tables -- I even won the 9th grade ping-pong championship at my junior high school. All because of, what was then, the Boys Club.
And parents can get assurance from knowing that their children are in a safe, wholesome, positive place. There’s a lot of satisfaction, knowing they can depend on the Club and not have to worry about where their children are and what they’re doing.
I look back fondly on my days at the Boys Club. It was more than just a nice place to play, it was a place to build character. I learned to make friends, get along with others, and sportsmanship. Last year I ran into the Club director who was over the club in my days and he remembered my name. That shows me that I was more than just a number, I was a person who was cared about.
I had worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi in several capacities since 2008. I first served as the Project Intervention Director, redirecting youth, specifically juvenile offenders, into positive activities in efforts to keep them off the streets and working to become productive citizens. I went on to become an AmeriCorps Director and after served as the Volunteer Coordinator. Born and raised in Jackson, MS, it is not a difficult task for him to relate to the struggles facing our youth. Previously employed by Methodist Rehabilitation, and managing Game Stop and Finish Line, servicing the community has been his calling. Also, the father of two young men of his own, his passion to see prosperous young people is strong. Featured in June’s edition of the Northeast Ledger, Randal can be described as one who embraces fatherhood, embodies manhood and exemplifies success. Randal is a mentor to countless children both directly and indirectly. He is also a loving son and devoted father.