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Boys and Girls Clubs of Providence Operational Fund
By Jean Cohoon / March 3, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
“We are about kids who deserve a better life. We are about listening to the whys of hurts, and the how to make them better. We are about finding opportunities to help kids help themselves, when they can, and step in when they can’t,” states Nicole Dufresne, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Providence.

The Club works with 4,000 youth annually in its seven clubhouses throughout the City of Providence. Its programs – which serve children 6 to 18 years of age – focus on three primary outcomes: academic achievement, a healthy lifestyle, and good character.

“We’re so much more than recreation. We’re developing young people who will break the cycle of poverty they have experienced, and they will do that through education and jobs,” explains Nicole. Financial literacy classes, programs to expose Club members to careers, and partnerships with other organizations and companies offer additional programs.

Club members explain the value of the offerings: “My Mom was alone with my sister, brother, and me when I was five. She had to work two jobs well into the evening. We had no one to watch over us, to do our homework, or to help to prepare dinner. I had no friends until I went to the Club. I trusted my leaders. I wasn’t alone anymore. I felt I was part of a family.” – 11-year old Club member

“My Dad was an abusive man. My brothers had dropped out of school, left home, and were living off of the streets, selling drugs. My Dad began to beat me. Luckily, I was a member of the Boys & Girls Club and I knew there was a better way. I asked for their help. I felt safe at the Club, and I trusted my counselors. The Club gave me back the life that my Dad had taken away. They really did save my life.” – 12-year old Club member

This endowment was established “to assure the sustainability of our organization,” Nicole says, adding, “The Board was very interested in the Foundation’s investment returns, credibility, and the supportive nature of our like-minded organizations.”
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