The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay is opening their doors to teen to get them ready for a bright future. The club is set to unveil their new College and Career Center for Teens on the city’s west side Friday.
Local 5 This Morning’s Brittany Falkers sat down with Director of Communications with the club Stephanie Nespoli for a preview of what the center has to offer.
Friday at The club’s Nagel Unit will host an open house and ribbon cutting for the new center for teens. Staff, community partners, statewide leaders, and organization stakeholders will all be there.
“The whole event is about showing our community, we’re not just a hangout spot. The Club is here, in Green Bay, to help area kids and teens get prepared for their futures and reach their full potential. This new College & Career Center is going to be a big part of that,” Nespoli said.
Teens make up over 40 percent of the club’s youth population. The club offers those teens nationally awarded and recognized programs called Be Great: Graduate and Teens2Work, which focus on academic success and workforce development. So, the Club wanted to create a space dedicated to teens, so they could feel even more empowered to come by and take hold of their future.
The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay is one of 10 clubs throughout the country t the have national support of Boys & Girls Club of America and sponsorship of The Hartford to implement a College & Career Center.
“According to our research, the top reason teens come to the Club is to get help finding jobs, but we know once they become Members so many more doors open for them. So, we were able to work with several community partners like Base Companies, Commercial Horizons, HJ Martin, Performa, VerHalen, Vos Electic, and more to bring this to fruition. We were also lucky enough to gain the support of Packers Give Back and Coach Mike McCarthy to fund the project as well,” Nespoli said.
The space is the perfect hangout for any teen with a lounge that has huge televisions, Xbox, wifi, Netflix and everything that they would need to kick back after a day at school, according to Nespoli.
“The lounge will also be a place where our Teen Coordinator will host programs that get teens active, thinking and having fun. Then we have, what we call, The Union, which is a area where teens can buy snacks and do homework or play games. This space is managed by our teens in our volunteerism and entrepreneurial program called Keystone,” Nespoli said.
The “College Center” and the “Career Center,” which are two separate rooms, will host programs that will get teens thinking about and prepared for their futures. Teens will have access to job training and shadowing, guest speakers, college visits, internships, job placements, workforce etiquette training, academic mentoring, free tutoring and so much more.
“Teens get a bad reputation, but they are up against some horrific odds from teen pregnancy on the rise to drug use to poverty to sex trafficking to bullying and gang violence, there is no shortage of obstacles for them. So, we knew a space needed to be made just for them where they can feel heard, motivated, encouraged, and like someone believes in them,” Nespoli said.
The staff at the club works day in and day out to make sure teens and kids know they’re not alone and that staff believes they have what it takes. Every kid deserves a chance to beat the odds and succeed, and, at Club, we’re dedicated to help make that happen, Nespoli said.
The grand opening and open house for the College & Career Center for teens is Friday, September 22. The open house will run from 2 – 3:30 p.m. and the program will be from 3:30 – 4 p.m.
The new center is located at the clubs Nagel Unit at 311 S.Oneida St. in Green Bay.
The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay believes every child deserves to be in an environment that brings out the very best in them. For 50 years, the Club has provided youth aged 7-18 with a safe place to learn and grow during out-of-school hours, while also opening the door to positive relationships with caring adult professionals and life-changing opportunities through educational programs.
The Club has six locations throughout greater Green Bay where memberships are available for only $10 per year. For more information, please visit www.bgcgb.org. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!