We have been a trusted resource in the community for our families year after year and has helped shape the futures for thousands of youth. The best way to predict the future is to create it, and at the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket, we have been doing that for over 120 years. Over that time, we have continuously invested in the success of Club members and provided them with the core values and confidence necessary to empower them to become leaders in their communities.
“The Club has impacted me in a tremendous way. It has given me support and provided me with adult role models, in addition to my parents. I know that when I need help with something or just want someone to sit and talk with, that I can rely on the staff.”
A Place She Calls Home
Soraia H. has been involved with the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket for more than 12 years. “I started attending the Club when I was six-years-old and like many others, it became a second home to me,” said Soraia. Over the years, she learned how to be resilient noting “staff has reminded me to never give up and that if I commit myself to something, to always follow through.” One of those things was the Youth of the Year competition, which being recognized is the highest honor a member can receive. Soraia remembers attending her first ceremony when she was eight-years-old, “I always knew that I was going to compete one day, and it was such an accomplishment to be chosen to represent my Club.”
The Making of an All-Star
“I just wanted to say that the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket can impact a kid’s life so much,” said Lonnie S. He expressed that members at the Club accepted his quiet personality and they gave him time to break out of his shell. Lonnie attributes this to his involvement in programs such as baseball, flag football, and basketball. He has created lasting friendships and built self-confidence through programs, stating that the Club helped him to view himself as a leader on and off the athletic field. Because of the support of the community, Lonnie is able to participate in our RBI Program (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) which helped him to reach his personal goal of playing on his high school’s baseball team. “RBI helped me grow and gave me so many opportunities that other programs do not have. RBI All-Stars was the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
“RBI helped me grow and gave me so many opportunities that other programs do not have. RBI All-Stars was the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
Family Support Program
Through the Family Support Program, we provided 130 meals weekly to our families.
Keeping Families Nourished
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the core of our mission has remained the same, we have continued to meet the needs of our families. Recently, we developed a program to respond to families with food insecurities. “This program provides families, like my own, with weekly groceries,” said a long-time member. “Kids aren’t going to school, so they aren’t getting their two meals there. And now they are unable to get the third one at the Club.” The Family Support Program helps Club families put meals on their tables during this crisis. “It helps our family a lot; they give us a lot of food, milk, and drinks to last the week. Thank you, BGCP!”
Creating Lifelong Memories
With over 120 years of experience in shaping great futures, the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket remains a home for thousands. Countless memories and even a child’s ‘firsts’ have been created within our four walls. “While it is bittersweet to watch the youth that I have worked with so closely throughout the years continue their journey and graduate from our Pre-Teen Program, I know they are able to continue to receive impactful programming downstairs at our Teen Center,” said Shirley Marrero, Director of Pre-Teen Programs. Shirley shares that she has watched a number of members graduate, but one she remembers vividly to this day. “A member was graduating from sixth grade and he invited me to his graduation, with a smile, I showed up for this member.” She recalls a rose ceremony, where graduates were asked to give a rose to their parent. “When it was time to give your “parent” the rose, I looked around, this member’s parent did not attend his graduation. He gave me his rose and a hug and said ‘thank you Miss Shirley for everything, especially for today.’
“It is here where I met people who cheered me on and continue to throughout all of the different highlights of my life.”
Sheila recalls receiving support from the Club in a more important way, it was a place she often referred to as ‘home’.
Exploring Endless Opportunities
“I full-heartedly believe that life comes full circle,” said Sheila DosSantos, Pre-Teen Program Coordinator at the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket. Sheila has been a part of our Club family since she was five-years-old; where she along with her four siblings, took advantage of all the opportunities the Club had to offer. As Sheila reflected on her time as a member, she said she looked forward to seeing her community friends daily and participating in activities that fit her interests- like dance classes, basketball, and educational programs. But Sheila recalled receiving support from the Club in a more important way, it was a place she often referred to as ‘home’. Often receiving her last meal of the day with her ‘Club family’, in an environment where she felt both safe and loved. Now, 25 years later, Sheila’s five-year-old son has started his journey with the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket, where she hopes one day he can join the Pre-Teen Program, a program she is responsible for leading and helping youth ages 6-12 discover a world with endless possibilities. “Sending my son to start his journey at the Club was a no-brainer for me,” she said. “I have considered the Club a home for so many years, and I hope that he can too.”
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