Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana have announced an official partnership that starts this month.
The William C. Schumacher Family Foundation, a founding member of Love Our Schools, provided a matching grant donation of $25,000 to each organization. The total of $100,000 in matching grant funds will be utilized as seed funding for a pilot program that is set to kick off early in 2020.
The partnership will allow more underserved youth in Lafayette to experience the benefits of one-to-one mentoring and academic support programs. The pilot program is set to take place at the Granberry Boys & Girls Club located at 121 S. Washington Street in Lafayette.
“Our foundation is committed to programs that foster community engagement and improve lives, just as we recently experienced with Love Our Schools. We also believe that foundations should partner together to facilitate and accelerate meaningful change. This partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana is an example of how two great organizations can collaborate to help more children realize their potential sooner. The matching grant will clear the current waiting list at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana, will allow both organizations to build capacity, and will promote the utilization of donor funding in a more impactful way. Even better, nearly half of the children on the waiting list attend Transformation Zone schools that were part of Love our Schools 2019. We are excited to promote and support this unique partnership, and we applaud these organizations for embracing such a transformational program,” says Ryan Domengeaux, CEO and General Counsel of the William C. Schumacher Family Foundation.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana operates a year-round afterschool and summer program that services more than 4,000 youth in Acadiana ranging from six to eighteen years in age. Each day, club kids are provided with a safe and fun environment, surrounded by opportunities to focus on their academics, on character and leadership development, and on healthy lifestyles.
“BGC Acadiana is approaching its 50th year in Acadiana, and we could not be more excited for this opportunity to bring Big Brothers Big Sisters into our Club space. Through partnerships like this, our organization is able to provide an enhanced experience for the thousands of kids we serve annually, doing so in a place that they trust and love – their home Club,” says BGC Acadiana President & CEO, Missy Bienvenu Andrade.
A large portion of this grant will be used to bolster the Boys & Girls Clubs’ programmatic and academic program team structure, upgrade technology at all five sites, and further develop data and impact tracking. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana is a one-to-one mentoring program that pairs youth with volunteer mentors in the community. The power of strong mentors in the lives of young people can dramatically change the trajectory of a child’s future. “Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana had a clear need to match nearly 50 youth with mentors locally. This donation allowed us to make that happen,” says Kalli Christ, Executive Director of BBBS. “Our mission is closely aligned with BGC Acadiana, so we are thrilled to expand our site-based mentoring program to the Granberry Club. We hope to continue growing this partnership through all of the BGC Acadiana sites in the near future.”
In addition to the partnership, Big Brothers Big Sisters will expand the local program team and provide robust training on child safety and mentoring to a broader group of staff and volunteers for both organizations.
To get involved with this initiative and/or provide support to these organizations, you can email:
• Rhyan Wheeler, BGC Acadiana - Director of Resource Development (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Kalli Christ, BBBS Acadiana – Executive Director (email@example.com)