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April's Youth of the Month!

April 20th, 2016

Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.

Congratulations to April's Youth of the Month Winners:

Paul I. Phillips Club: Josiah
Why Staff Selected Josiah: Josiah is always an enthusiastic helper around the Club. He always does his homework and participates in a variety of programs.

 

 

 

Seidman Club: Germaine
Why Staff Selected Germaine: Germaine is the Keystone Club Secretary at Seidman Club and a true leader and volunteer for the Club. Germaine wants study photography in college one day and to become a business entrepreneur after completing college.

 

Steil Club: Edwin
Why Staff Selected Edwin: Edwin is a great example to others. He shows Club members what hardwork looks like by spending hours each day working on difficult math homework with one of Steil’s most helpful volunteers Tom. Edwin has finished multiple assignments through his hardwork and dedication. Others are starting to follow his example...

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March's Youth of the Month!

March 16th, 2016

Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.

Congratulations to MARCH's Youth of the Month Winners:

Paul I. Phillips Club: Luke
Why Staff Selected Luke: Luke is the PIP Youth of the Month because he's always a nice friend; he loves floor hockey; and he does his homework every day. This month it was Luke's idea to go pick up litter in our neighborhood to celebrate National BGC Week!

 

Seidman Club: Alex
Why Staff Selected Alex: Alex is a student athlete in track and football. He is a leader at the Club and is a college bound student athlete. We are proud of his achievements!

 

 

Steil Club Teen: Da'Montrell
Why Staff Selected Da'Montrell: Da'Montrell has been a great example to his friends in the Club during the past month. When his friends are not listening, he helps them to quiet down. When staff around him need help, he is ready to offer it.

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March Madness Hits BGC!

March 13th, 2016

We couldn't help but get in all the action as the March Madness tournament heats up... Last week, was our first ever March Madness teen basketball tournament at Paul I. Phillips Club!

Seven BGC teams participated from as far away as Flint. It was an awesome event for our basketball superstars! Seidman Club beat Paul I. Phillips Club in the championship to win first place, and Kalamazoo NE won the sportsmanship award. ‬

Special thanks to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint, Ron and Janet Knaus, Mary Ward, and Ken's Fruit Market!

See more photos here!

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Ana Sosa Named 2016 Youth of the Year

February 28th, 2016

Selected among several local outstanding youth, Ana Sosa has been named 2016 Grand Rapids Youth of the Year and will receive a $2,000 scholarship provided by Lake Michigan Credit Union. She will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Michigan Youth of the Year title and a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. As the new Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, 15-year old Ana is a true example of an extraordinary young woman recognized by BGCA for her leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.

 

“Today was a great day for Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth,” said Executive Director Rick Huisman. “Not only did we have more than 300 special guests in attendance for our Youth of the Year Celebration Luncheon, we are also extremely proud to recognize Ana Sosa as our Youth of the Year 2016.”

Ana is a sophomore at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science. She has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth since 2011 and is a member at the Steil Club. She is a member of the National Honor Society and actively volunteers with many organizations in the area. Ana is a member of the volleyball and basketball teams at her school and is a member of a dance group. She is also a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Performing Arts program. Ana’s goal is to attend Aquinas College following high school. Her dream is to start a non-profit and help people around the world.

“For me, what is missing in my heart, is a family of friends and other people who want to join me to help those in need around the world without any fear or regrets,” said Ana. “Mother Earth is a place where we live, a place where we can learn from, not a place that we can control or destroy. I want people to see and feel what we could do and accomplish when we come together.”

If Ana wins at the state competition, she will compete for the title of Midwest Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September 2016, to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable each year up to $100,000 and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids local Youth of the Year event was sponsored by Barfly Events, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Meijer, Steelcase Inc., C.H. Robinson, Eastern Floral, Huntington Bank, PNC Bank, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Ron & Janet Knaus, Bluewater Technologies, and Redi Rental.

If you were unable to attend the event but would like to learn more about Youth of the Year, please contact Elyse Mathos at 616-233-9370 x104 or emathos@bgcgrandrapids.org.

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Youth of the Year Keynote Speakers

February 22nd, 2016

Attending our 2016 Youth of the Year Luncheon? Find out more about our amazing keynote speakers:

Kristin Ekkens

Kristin Ekkens, MA, is a cultural intelligence strategist, speaker and consultant. With experience as manager of Inclusion & Diversity for an integrated healthcare system (23,000+ employees), TEDx speaker (2014), business owner, executive director of a national nonprofit, corporate intercultural trainer and language program director, Kristin brings a unique perspective to global leadership and talent management. Kristin is an activator, achiever, and includer, whose passion is helping organizations drive culturally intelligent innovation. 

In 2015, Kristin was recognized as a 40 under Forty Business Leader by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. She was a nominee for Raising the Bar award from the Grand Rapids Young Professionals and the Bridge Builder award from the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  In 2014, Kristin was recognized as a "cultural entrepreneur" in the Grand Rapids Business JournalCalvin Spark, and a language journal in Taiwan.  Her workplace learning initiatives have received multiple awards for quality and innovation including international exposure in a 2008 broadcast of ABC World News Tonight with Charles Gibson and recognition in 2011 as a best practice by Singapore Workforce Development Agency. 

Kristin is an advanced certified Cultural Intelligence (CQ) facilitator through the Cultural Intelligence Center and Qualified Administrator of Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). She earned an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Michigan State University and a BA in Spanish and Linguistics from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.  She currently serves as interest section Immediate Past Chair (2014-15) for an international language teaching association. Kristin’s international experience includes living in Spain, Mexico and Costa Rica, and traveling extensively throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Western Europe, and New Zealand. 

Cesar Vargas

Cesar Vargas was born in Guanajuato, Mexico. He migrated to Grand Rapids, Michigan when he was six years old. Playing soccer on open gym nights led him to become engaged in other aspects of the the Boys and Girls Club, which includes the Keys Stone program, and competing for Youth of the Year. He graduated from Union High School, earned his BA in Sociology and Latino Studies from the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Higher Education Student Affairs [HESA] at Eastern Michigan. As a first generation college student, he is interested in developing support services geared towards Student Access, and most importantly Educational Attainment. His ultimate goal is to help individuals find themselves as students. Most importantly he genuinely states that all his hard work, goals and objectives are God driven.

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Meet our New Chief Development Officer!

February 18th, 2016

We're excited to add Nikki Outhier, our new Chief Development Officer, to the BGC Grand Rapids team! We thought we'd get to know her a little better...

What is your background/what did you do before BGC?

I have a bachelor’s degree from Aquinas College where I majored in Sociology. After graduation, my first job was in the for-profit sector; however, I soon realized my passion was in the non-profit world. I decided to give that a try and have never looked back. I’ve spent the majority of my career working in development and marketing and have been fortunate to work for great organizations with important missions.

Why are you excited to take on this role?

A great deal of my free time is taken up by my two sons and their activities, and over the years, I’ve found great joy in volunteering for several youth focused organizations. Now I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with the talented team of staff and volunteers at Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids to provide great futures for the youth in our community.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I am mom to two very active sons; Logan 15 and Liam 13 and ours is a household of sports nuts. When I’m not attending one of their football, basketball or lacrosse games, we like to watch sports and attend both college and professional sporting events together.

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#1 Becky Missad said:

Welcome to Boys & Girls Clubs Nikki!

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February's Youth of the Month!

February 17th, 2016

Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.

Congratulations to FEBRUARY's Youth of the Month Winners:

Paul I. Phillips Club: Aiden
Why Staff Selected Aiden: Aiden is always a big help and a positive influence around the Club. He helps with the younger children walking to Paul I. Phillips Club from his school, and he is always welcoming and friendly to all Club members.

 

Seidman Club: Nyteria
Why Staff Selected Nyteria: Nyteria was chosen as Seidman's Youth of the Month due to her volunteer work throughout the Club. She helps out whenever asked in the office, Club store, and in the Learning Center. Nyteria has a bright future.

 

 

Steil Club Teen: Kaevon
Why Staff Selected Kaevon: Kaevon has come a long way since his first days in the Club. He has grown as a young man and is now an example for those around him. He is ready to be friendly and talk to staff and makes an effort to be friendly with those around him!

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Meet our 2016 Youth of the Year Finalists!

January 21st, 2016

On February 25, 2016, Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids will celebrate the extraordinary achievements of three of its teen members at the annual Youth of The Year Luncheon. Since 1947, “Youth of the Year” has been the premier way for Boys & Girls Club of America to recognize Club members who embody the values of leadership service, academic excellence, and healthy lifestyles.

Each of the three Grand Rapids Clubs have selected a Club member who will compete for Youth of the Year 2016. The finalists are Ana S. from Steil Club, Alim P. from Paul I. Phillip Club, and Makijha S. from Seidman Club. Each of these youth exemplifies the critical impact that Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of young people. This Luncheon is a chance to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of the Club members and announce the Grand Rapids' 2016 Youth of the Year.

Rick Huisman, Executive Director at Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, recognizes what extraordinary members attend the Clubs in Grand Rapids and hopes the community sees the benefits of participating in Youth of the Year.

“Youth of the Year is an opportunity for our kids to tell their stories about what Boys & Girls Club has meant to them,” said Huisman. “It is such an amazing thing for these youth to have the courage to stand up at the podium and share their experiencess to our community's leaders and Club supporters.”

Each of the three finalists will receive scholarships provided by Lake Michigan Credit Union. The Grand Rapids' Youth of the Year winner will also be eligible to compete statewide with members from other Boys & Girls Clubs around Michigan. The state winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship and participate in regional competitions. Five regional participants will move on to compete on the national level. The “National Youth of the Year” will receive up to an additional $50,000 scholarship.

The 2016 Youth of the Year Luncheon will be held on Thursday, February 25 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm and will be held at the Steil Club (235 Straight Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI). Members of the community are encouraged to join this free to attend event to celebrate Club members. Please RSVP to Elyse Mathos at 616-233-9370 x104 or emathos@bgcgrandrapids.org. If you are interested in more information on this event, you can visit www.bgcgrandrapids.org/specialevents/yoy2016.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids is a nonprofit that supports youth and community through programs at three Club locations. The organization's mission is to enable all young people to reach their full potential as responsible citizens through education, recreation, and other positive community experiences in partnership with the Grand Rapids Police Department.

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January's Youth of the Month!

January 20th, 2016

Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.

Congratulations to JANUARY's Youth of the Month Winners:

Paul I. Phillips Club: Jermayne
Why Staff Selected Jermayne: Jermayne is very mature for his age and tries to be a leader for his peers. He is a great helper when we need anything cleaned up.
 

 

Seidman Club: Elliana
Why Staff Selected Elliana: Elliana is a member of the Torch Club and an active volunteer in and around the Club. Elliana is a rising star!

 

 

 

Steil Club Teen: Lakesha
Why Staff Selected Lakesha: Lakesha is a helpful and cheerful young lady. We are glad to honor her this month.

 

 

 

 

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#1 dontarrie said:

awwwww look at lakesha

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2016 Camp O'Malley Sessions

January 10th, 2016

Session 1: June 20-23 | MLK Week (Ages 8-12)

This special session is set aside just for Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy students. A thrilling week of adventure awaits those students who come to experience the best that Camp O’ Malley has to oer. Swimming, biking, campres, rock climbing, shing, and more! Important: This session does not accept online registrations.

Session 2: June 27-July 1 | Super Hero Week (Ages 8-12)

Grab your suitcase and your favorite super hero costume and y (or drive) on out to Camp O’ Malley. Super Heroes will have to work together and use their amazing creativity to counteract the villains and stop the spread of their negative inuences.

Session 3: July 6- July 8 | “Where The Wild Things Are” Week (Ages 6-8)

Let the Wild Rumpus Start! We mean – calling all 6-8 year olds. Come on out to Camp O’ Malley for 3 days of adventure and discovering truly what wild things exist at Camp. No need to grow a forest in your bedroom, because we have plenty of forest right here. So come on out and join the fun.

Session 4: July 11-15 | Holiday Week (Ages 8-13)

What’s this – Christmas in the summer? That’s right, Camp O’ Malley will be committing a whole week to celebrating some of our favorite holidays along with the festivities and traditions that make these holidays truly special to us.

Session 5: July 18-22 | “Mission Impossible” Week (Ages 12-14)

Are you ready for Mission Impossible – not “Rogue Nation” – but Camp O’ Malley? Join us as we embark on a variety of special missions with our fellow cabin mates and some pretty cool sta! Whether your mission is to try a zip line for the rst time, scale the climbing wall, or just make new friends, our goal at Camp is to help make the Impossible, Possible.

Session 6: July 25-29 | Survivor Week (Ages 10-13)

Are you a survivor? Well, come nd out for sure at Camp O’ Malley’s Survivor Week. Throughout the week you will get to complete in friendly competitions to see which cabin is once and for all – “The Sole Survivor”!

Session 7: August 1-5 | Olympics Week (Ages 8-12)

Think you have what it takes to compete in the Olympics? Well, perhaps you’re not quite ready for the Olympics to take place this summer in Rio, but then there are always the Camp O’ Malley Olympics. That’s right, this summer the Olympics will be coming to Camp O’ Malley and you are one of the featured athletes. Start training and get ready for all of the fun and fanfare that make the Olympics (and the athletes who participate) so special.

Session 8: August 8-12 | Adventure Week (Ages 8-12)

Pack your bags and get ready for one of the greatest adventures of your life! Camp O’ Malley will be punctuating the end of its summer season with a week full of fun, adventure, and making memories. Help us end the 2016 Camp season in style by signing up today and joining us for an “adventure of a lifetime”.

Comments

#1 alan pawloski said:

my kids have been going here for 4 years now and they love it but now that you lower the age limit they cant go and they really loved it I wish you could make more of them at a 14 or 15 age limit and what ever happend to high school night

#2 Melissa Valkier said:

I went here probably 20 years ago. I had so much fun. I wish I would have known they were still opened. I would have sent my daughter there. Great experience. Thank you for the memories.

#3 Toria M said:

Why are so many sessions only for ages 8-12 why isn't there one week for ages 13-15? Other more expensive camps offer this can you have at least one week for teens ?

#4 Toria M said:

Why are so many sessions only for ages 8-12 why isn't there one week for ages 13-15? Other more expensive camps offer this can you have at least one week for teens ?

#5 Aarie said:

No Girl Power Week? My girls love it here... THey will be happy either way!

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Our Mission

To enable all young people to reach their full potential as responsible citizens through education, recreation, and other positive community experiences in partnership with the Grand Rapids Police Department.

Contact Us

for direct numbers to specific departments and staff visit the contact page.

Admin/Steil Club

rhuizenga@bgcgr...

(616) 233.9370

235 Straight Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI
49504

Paul I. Phillips Club

sflood@bgcgrand...

(616) 719.0775

726 Madison Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI
49503

Seidman Club

dowens@bgcgrand...

(616) 452.0061

139 Crofton Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI
49507

Camp O'Malley

tim@campomalley...

(616) 871.6551

7360 Thornapple Dales
Alto, MI
49302