TWM Gives Back: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County
The mission of Boys & Girls & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Our vision is to provide a world-class Club Experience that ensures success is within reach of every young person who enters our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.
On October 1, 2018, two beloved youth development organizations with roots dating to 1926 and more than 150 years of community service between them became one. In one of the most influential mergers in Boys & Girls Clubs of America history, the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth united to become Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County (BGCGTC).
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County (BGCGTC) serves youth in schools and community sites located in some of Tarrant County’s most at-risk areas. Our target neighborhoods are historically low-income, with low educational attainment, high unemployment rates, and associated high rates of illegal activity, including gangs and alcohol and other drugs. In 2018, the Club served more than 23,000 youth throughout our 26 branches in after-school and summer programming throughout Fort Worth and Arlington. According to membership data, the median household income for our members is $33,913, which means 35% of our member’s families are living at or below poverty level.
More than half of our members come from single-parent homes, and 78% qualify for the free or reduced lunch plan. Research has clearly shown that kids who grow up in poverty have fewer opportunities than their peers who live in higher income areas, but this often boils down to not having opportunities to create meaningful relationships with adults. BGCGTC directly address this deficiency, offering judgment-free and caring relationships with kids that allow them to feel empowered, have a sense of belonging, and a way to build positive interactions.
The Club is also committed to ensuring at-risk youth have access to the arts – specifically music. In partnership with the non-profit Music & Youth, BGCGTC opened the first Music Clubhouse outside of the Boston area in 2015. This collaboration has established a high-quality music education program on-site at two of our branch locations.
The Clubhouse provides disadvantaged youth, ages 10-18, with free music lessons, an opportunity that target area youth would otherwise not experience. Our Music Clubhouse attracts youth to a safe place to learn and grow, away from the culture of drugs, gangs and violence that is all too prevalent on the streets of their neighborhoods. In addition to increasing self-confidence and self-esteem in young people, the purpose of this program is to expose youth to a world outside of their own experiences. Many youth never leave their neighborhoods; much less participate in music-making. This initiative allows members to express themselves creatively while being mentored by staff and volunteers with the program.
As Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County has experienced, and continues to experience rapid growth, more resources are needed to continue to offer the Music & Youth Program. Could you partner with us to impact the lives of youth in Tarrant County? A financial contribution can be made by visiting www.bgcgtc.org/ways-to-give . You gift today will help us get the following important equipment and supplies for the Music & Youth Clubhouses:
- Computers for staff
- iPads for beat making and production activities
- Software subscriptions
- New instruments
- Instrument maintenance
- Instruction materials
The Music & Youth program is providing the most vulnerable members of our community with an added opportunity to be engaged in positive developmental activities. Youth contribution will allow the Club to continue impact Tarrant County’s hardest to reach youth.
Carol Noel is the Senior Vice President of Advancement of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County which is committed to to enabling all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Visit www.bgcgtc.org to learn more.