Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme

Be the difference: Help kids graduate

Posted in Uncategorized by BGCOP Staff on January 4, 2010

As we begin this fresh, new decade together, please take a moment to think about the difference you can make by helping to support young people. In doing so, you are creating a better community for generations to come.

The economic crisis been devastating, but it is not the greatest crisis we face. There is another disaster happening among us and the consequences are far more devastating. Our young people are dropping out of high school. Several studies make clear the importance of completing high school:

— Dropouts are more likely to be on welfare.

— They are more likely to be unemployed. Fifty-four percent of all high school dropouts are jobless. Among African-Americans without a diploma, the unemployment rate soars to a shocking 70 percent.

Worse yet, far too often, today’s dropouts are tomorrow’s criminal offenders. The U.S. prison inmate population has swelled to 2.3 million. And 75 percent of prison inmates do not have high school diplomas.

And the crisis is here:

— The average high school graduation rate is 75 percent — and for Latino and African- American males, the graduation rate drops to 50 percent.

— In Oxnard and Port Hueneme, the graduation rate is 62 percent.

— Less than one-third of eighth-graders perform at a proficient level in math.

— Reading proficiency levels drop as students enter middle school.

It’s shocking that the U.S. is now the only industrialized country in the world in which young people are less likely than their parents to earn a high school diploma. We cannot allow this!

The greatest crisis we face is the crisis in our families, communities and in education.

As individuals, there may well be little we can do about our nation’s economic crisis. But we sure can do something about the future of our community through the great work of our Boys & Girls Club organization and collaborative partners.

I believe there is no organization outside our education system that has a greater capacity and responsibility to positively influence children than the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme. Ninety-six percent of those who attend our clubs graduate from high school! We are changing and saving lives.

We have more than 18 clubs serving 7,500 youths annually. This service so uniquely qualifies the clubs to make an exceptional contribution to community that we must continue to do it and we must broaden our impact.

The Boys & Girls Clubs are working to bring out the best in each young person. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme is giving them their future. In so doing, they are giving Oxnard and Port Hueneme its future.

But, even as our organization becomes more critical to the stability and success of our community, we face cutbacks in revenue from all sources. It is crunch time for us, for places that serve as safe havens and vital support centers for children and their parents.

For 2010, I ask you to make a commitment to be the difference. Think of ways you can help: volunteering at a clubhouse, donating to our cause, mentoring and leading by example. Sponsor a program, a piece of equipment or make a financial contribution that will give one young person a full year at the club — a proven path to their high school diploma and a confident, positive future of possibilities.

In a time of economic turmoil, educating our youngest generation is more important than ever.

With your support, the future of our young people and our community can be one of hope and opportunity.

Together we can be the difference for our youths!

— Tim Blaylock is chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme, Phone: 805-815-4959, ext. 203.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: