The Boys & Girls Clubs of America recently honored the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme with two national merit awards for program excellence. The Club also received $5,000. BGCOP won an award in the Arts category, for its movie production, Project Sunset Walk; and a second award in the Character and Leadership Development category for its Evening Reporting Center.
The award was presented during Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 111th National Conference in Dallas. Merit Awards for Program Excellence, are sponsored by MetLife Foundation and presented annually for outstanding programs developed and implemented to lead youth to great futures at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.
“We are so proud of our staff for the hard work and effort they put into their jobs every day. This kind of recognition shows us we are on the right path and inspires us to continue making strides for our kids,” said Erin Antrim, Chief Executive Officer, BGCOP.
Local retired executive Bill Powell, volunteered, mentored and challenged a group of teens to write a screenplay relevant to their realities. As a result, Keystone Club Members created Project Sunset Walk. As part of the project Club teens wrote a compelling script, titled “The Last Deal.” In collaboration with Bill Powell and professionals, Club staff directed and produced it. The movie depicts how through positive change a group of young Hispanic men are able to turn away from the street scene and find their way through education, and in doing so pull their families out of the poverty cycle they have been repeatedly stuck in.
The Evening Reporting Center program is a partnership with Ventura County Probation Agency and takes place at the Club’s Teen Center. This program was designed as an alternative to detention for teens who have been mandated by the courts to spend time at the Club where they learn positive behavior and a better approach to life. Over the last several years, 118 teens were referred to the Club and more than 70 percent graduated from the program. The Club was able to retain 81 percent of those teens as members.
Each year, before the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national conference, hundreds of award entries are submitted in five core program areas: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness and recreation; as well as in the three overall program areas: Best Overall Program by organizational Budget (as it pertains to your Club’s annual budget amount) – less than $500,000 or more than $500,000; Best Overall Participation and Regular Attendance; and Innovations in Safety.
About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme (BGCOP) is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) youth service organization. BGCOP’s mission is “to inspire and enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential, as productive, responsible and caring citizens.” Services are provided in three freestanding clubhouses in Oxnard and Port Hueneme which include a dedicated Teen Center, 12 public school program sites, one club site in Nyeland Acres, one site at a Squires Public Housing, and the first Boys & Girls Club in a juvenile hall in the State of California. The purpose of BGCOP is to provide social, educational and recreational programs to all youth ages 6-18 years old, with an emphasis on those in underserved areas. Annual member dues is $20.00 however, no one is turned away regardless of ability to pay. Over 10,400 youth and teens are served annually. For more information, to get involved or to donate, please visit www.BGCOP.org.