The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Vestar Branch has been chosen from nearly 4,000 chartered clubs as the top branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The award was recently given to the Vestar Branch at the nonprofit’s national conference held in San Diego earlier this summer.
“This award is a tremendous honor,” says Caitlin Sageng, Vestar branch director. “It is also a direct reflection of how hard our staff works every day to make sure our youth receive the programming they need to reach their full potential.”
The award was given to the Vestar Branch as determined by entries submitted in each of BGCA’s five core program categories: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness and recreation.
The Vestar Branch’s main programming objectives are to empower youth to better themselves, their club and the community. Some of the different programs that provide varied and unique opportunities for their members include:
|Adopt-a-Family: Supports more than 91 kids and parents in need at the organization.|
|Primal Fitness program: Reinforces members’ fitness knowledge and nutrition levels.|
|The Keystone Club: This teen group focuses on community service, including volunteering monthly at a local food bank and assisting with homeless shelters.|
|Power Hour: An academic program that helps youth reach their educational potential and set goals throughout the school year.|
|Drama Club: Encourages club members’ self-esteem by performing plays like “Alice in Wonderland” during summer programming.|
|Center for Telepresence: Through this high-tech center, youth can connect, communicate and learn from experts around the world in a variety of fields.|
“We feel the best way to make the Vestar Branch successful in our community is by offering quality programs to youth and maintaining a positive connection between members and staff,” Sageng says. “These relationships transcend through all programs and keep members coming back more and most importantly, allow us to have a lasting impact.”
In July 2007, the Vestar Branch opened in the Desert Ridge community, serving more than 8,300 families in and around the northeast Phoenix area. This 27,000-square-foot facility offers all members ages six to 18 a Phoenix Suns-sponsored gymnasium, a state-of-the-art learning center and Thunderbirds Charities Center for Telepresence program, a fun and innovative science education program. Youth ages 13 to 18 also have access to a 6,000-square-foot Lamb Family Teen Center.
In addition to the award, the Vestar Branch also received a $5,000 award from MetLife Foundation, sponsor of the awards program, which honors local Clubs for innovative, effective programming.
This is also the second time a Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Branch has been given the honor; the organization’s Virginia G. Piper Branch also received the award in 2009. Named after a longtime supporter of youth services in the Scottsdale area, the Virginia G. Piper Branch opened in Scottsdale Ranch in 1991. Today, the Clubhouse is one of the highest-membership facilities operated by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. In December 2010, construction began to renovate the Piper Branch, which now offers a full-service Teen Center that opened in May 2011. The organization’s administration offices are also located next door.
MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Through programs that focus on empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities, MetLife Foundation help increase access and opportunities for people of all ages. Since its founding, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $530 million in grants to nonprofit organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. For more information, visit metlife.org.