Grantee Spotlight: Boys & Girls Club of Rush County

Community Grants Funds Recipient: $15,720

Report submitted by Jon York, CEO Boys & Girls Club of Rush County


Fresh paint, new flooring, modern furniture, up to date electronics, free food and Wi-Fi access. Sounds like a space ready for teenagers. The Boys & Girls Club of Rush County has a refreshed Teen Center thanks to a Community Grant through the Rush County Community Foundation. Current Boys & Girls Club teen members have been able to enjoy the new amenities of the Teen Center and have shared their excitement with their friends. Normally, there were about 15 teens each day. Since remodeling the teen area, there have been several days of having 40+ teens, while maintaining safety protocols.


The Teen Center exists to provide Rush County teens a space to call their own. The teens had input from what color of flooring to get, which furniture to buy, what new equipment they wanted in their gym and how they wanted to spend Teen Nights when they get to take over the whole building after the younger
members go home for the night. The teens took this responsibility seriously. They had debates over everything from traditional or high top tables and chairs to what food they had to have for the first Teen Night.


While having a space is important, the programming that takes place inside the space is the driving force behind the Teen Center. Leadership and character development programs like Keystone Club, Youth of the Year and Leaders in Training (L.I.T.) are the backbone of the Boys & Girls Club experience. In
Keystone, the teens elect officers, run their own meetings, volunteer in the community and participate in fun events to build a stronger bond as a group. The  Youth of the Year program has teens compete amongst each other to represent our organization at the state level competition and share the impact they have on their community, the impact they will have in the future and how to motivate others to do the same. Career readiness is the main focus of the L.I.T. program. Members attend biweekly meetings that lead to a job interview and possibly employment at the Club. These programs were able to be launched or expanded with the help of this grant from the Rush County Community Foundation.


In 2019, the Boys & Girls Club adopted “Whatever It Takes” as our motto. That phrase was said more times than we ever could have imagined in 2020 as our service model seemed to change weekly. Strong community partnerships like this grant opportunity with the Rush County Community Foundation are vital in allowing us to continue doing “Whatever It Takes” for the youth of Rush County.

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