by Michael Johnson
CEO of BGC Dane County
In 2015 the Club graduated 113 seniors; more than 70% are students of color and all were accepted into college. BGC now has the largest public/private partnership in both the Madison and Verona School Districts with more than 1500 students enrolled in their college prep programs. UW Madison through their Wisconsin Hope Lab will be releasing an annual assessment on the AVID/TOPS partnership and the results are very encouraging. Their is NO OTHER non profit in Madison that has an independent, third party assessment with these kinds of measurements and results. Stay tuned for this breaking news.
This year the Club secured a capacity building grant to help find 675 paid internships and employment connection opportunities for local kids over the next three years. As a result the Club placed 225 kids in paid internships at 32 local companies this year and now BGC has created the largest youth internship program in Dane County. This year was the most successful, most productive fundraising campaign in the history of the Club, making us one the fastest growing Boys & Girls Clubs in the United States and the fastest growing youth development nonprofit in Dane County. Today we have over 200 employees, tutors and youth development professionals working in classrooms and afterschool programs in Fitchburg, Madison, Verona and Sun Prairie.
In 2015 the Club renovated the Taft Street location and built the only community fitness center in south Madison. BGC is the only neighborhood center with a community fitness center, Teen Center, STEM Lab and Music Studio. Five years ago our Clubs were dirty, dark and gloomy and today our Clubs are beginning to look like country clubs for kids.
In 2015 the Club secured 5,700 hundred square feet of administrative office space for $1 a year and found capacity building grants to hire additional youth development professionals to reach our strategic objectives. There is not one youth development organization in Madison that have received this kind of in kind facility support in a singular year and we have leveraged our resources and partnerships to support and uplift other nonprofits in the process.
In 2015 the Club and our partners were featured in every national TV news outlet in the country including CNN, MSNBC and Fox News stepping up in a time of crisis when leadership was needed in our community. We were also covered in over 200 radio, TV, news paper stories, opinion editorials including the LA Times, New York Times, Wisconsin State Journal, Cap Times and received more than a dozen awards from Boys & Girls Clubs of America and other community groups for our work with children, families and the community.
In 2015 the Club awarded more than $175k in scholarships to over a dozen local students in one year. These scholarships were the most funds ever given to members at our Club and one scholarship became one of the largest private scholarships known to be given to a singular student in the State of Wisconsin from a private donor.
With all those accomplishments we have produced clean financial audits, met grants expectations, grew our internal infrastructure, created one of the most diverse workplaces in Dane County and will end the year supporting more than 5,000 kids in the region. Donate today and help us become the change agents our kids deserve!
I am looking forward to 2016 as a big year for our local kids and hope we ALL keep our eyes on the prize – Our Kids’ Future! Onward to 2016! Thanks in advance for your contribution and for your support this year!