SARASOTA, FL – CYD (Community Youth Development) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County (BGCSC) have announced that the BGCSC will assume oversight of CYD’s award-winning youth development programs, STAR Leadership Training and SRQVolunteen, as of August 29.
With considerable support from city and county government, area foundations and donors, CYD’s programs were developed and grew tremendously for 14 years while under the auspices of other nonprofit organizations; CYD incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit as recently as 2010, when no partners were available to provide an organizational umbrella for the programs. With current realities and changes in funding priorities, its leadership concluded it was not sustainable for CYD to operate as a stand-alone nonprofit.
CYD and BGCSC have worked together for many years, partnering on numerous programs. Given the BGCSC’s focus on youth programs, and the infrastructure and efficiencies – including facilities available for use throughout the county – already in place, it was a natural partner. Additionally, this offers a wonderful opportunity for BGCSC to expand its teen programmatic opportunities and enrollment at the most opportune time: 2016 has been designated as “Year of the Teen” by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
“Throughout our history, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County has focused on serving the youth who need high-quality programs and services the most, which includes teens,” said BGCSC president/CEO Bill Sadlo. “With STAR Leadership Training and SRQVolunteen, we are positioned to build a stage for a generation of young people ready to make a difference in their communities, their nation and their world. These two programs will help us make a greater impact on the community’s teenage demographic and lead those served on a pathway toward a great future with opportunities to achieve their full potential.”
The teenage years can often be the most troublesome as exposure to crime, violence and gang-related activity as well as harmful substances such as drugs and alcohol become more frequent with the pressures of growing up. Research indicates that one in five teens do not graduate on time, while 4,000 youth are arrested daily, especially between the juvenile crime peaks between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Afterschool programs such as those offered at BGCSC offer safe and healthy options for program participants while positively impacting academic success and good character development and citizenship.
The current STAR Leadership Training and SRQVolunteen program coordinators will move to the BGCSC’s Lee Wetherington Club location and continue their work with area youth uninterrupted. Two of CYD’s full-time non-program staff – including founder and 20-year executive director Karen Bogues – will assist in the transition and then move on to new opportunities.
“There is no denying the positive impact that the STAR Leadership Training and SRQVolunteen programs have had on area youth. Our program participants have a 95% high school graduation rate and overwhelmingly report that the skills they learned had a direct impact on their current success,” said Bogues. “We have always felt that our programs belonged to the community and their continuation should always be our top priority. Many thanks are due to the city and county government, our many nonprofit partners, and the foundations and individuals who invested so much in the teens of this community. This is simply a new evolution of youth programming in our community – with the transfer of the programs to BGCSC, CYD’s proud legacy will live on.”
“SRQVolunteen and STAR Leadership Training are two incredibly strong assets to our existing Teen Program that will strengthen our dedication to the ‘Year of the Teen’ movement being led at the national level,” said Sadlo. “We congratulate the leadership of CYD for caring first and foremost about the young people served – and who will continue to be served – and for entrusting BGCSC to oversee the STAR Leadership Training and SRQVolunteen programs for years to come.”
Please contact Karen Bogues, CYD, at (941) 922-5126 and/or Bill Sadlo, BGCSC, at (941) 366-3911 for more information.
PHOTO ID: STAR Leadership Training program participants during the fall 2015 STAR project, which provided educational and fun activities for program participants at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County