Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme

Two Oxnard teens honored as BGCOP’s Youths of the Year

Posted in Uncategorized by BGCOP Staff on February 29, 2012

Oxnard,Calif.–Singled out among several outstanding local youth, Taylor Penny and Genesis Mena, both from Oxnard, were recently named 2012 Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme.

The Youth of the Year competition recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club local organization, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Youth of the Year encourages Club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities. Youth of the Year honorees are shining examples and living proof that great futures start at Boys & Girls Clubs.

“Taylor and Genesis are both strong, creative and intelligent young women who represent our Clubs with great pride and enthusiasm,” said Tim Blaylock, Chief Professional Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard andPort Hueneme. “We are proud to consider them our Youth of the Year.”

Penny, 18, joined the Club at age 9, after her family relocated fromLas VegastoOxnard. Her family struggled with unemployment, poverty and other serious issues. Penny’s older sister dropped out of high school, pregnant at the age of 17. On the advice of an aunt, she began attending the Boys & Girls Clubs in Oxnard, where she found homework help, mentors, activities and friends.

Penny quickly became a role model to many children at the club and at school. With stellar grades in all college prep and honors classes, she has been active in school sports, ASB and was a competitive cheerleader with the California All Stars. At the Club, she is a dedicated volunteer helping other challenged children to believe in themselves. She participates in the Keystone leadership group and is employed at the Club as a Junior Staff Member.

Penny is graduating fromOxnardHigh Schoolin June and has been accepted toWashingtonStateUniversityand is waiting to hear back from other schools. She aspires to become a lawyer.

A senior atPacificaHigh School, 17-year-old Mena will be the first in her family to graduate high school and to attend college. She is fluent in English, Spanish and French and often translates for her parents. She also helps her parents with expenses through her part-time job..

Mena has been very active in the Club for the year and a half she’s been a member. Through the Club’s Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) program, she took part in the creation of Compassion Fashion, a socially conscious fashion accessory business. She’s competed at UCLA in the Project ECHO competition, where she and her four team members were awarded the Most Inspirational Business Award. She traveled toChicagolast May to compete in the National SAGE business plan competition where her team placed third in the Social Enterprise category and participated in the local NFTE program last summer, placing second. In 2011, she was awarded the Magic Johnson Entrepreneur Award and has consistently been involved in the Club’s College Bound program.

Mena has maintained a 3.75 GPA and earned scholar awards each year in high school. She has applied to 12 colleges and has been receiving acceptance letters. She plans to earn a degree in marketing and advertising.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Oxnard and Port Hueneme exists to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Program areas offered to youth include character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, computer training and sports/fitness/recreation opportunities. For more information, visit


Boys & Girls Clubs Cancels Raffle, Refunds Ticket Cost

Posted in Uncategorized by BGCOP Staff on February 29, 2012

OXNARD,Calif.—The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme announced today that it is canceling its million-dollar raffle due to slow ticket sales, and is giving refunds to ticket-buyers. Early Bird drawing winners will keep their winnings.

“Our board made a difficult, prudent decision to cancel the raffle and issue refunds. This is the fiscally sound thing to do in light of slow ticket sales,” said Dick Elzinga, board president of BGCOP.

“The Clubs’ financial position remains strong, and we continue to serve nearly 9,000 young people at essentially no cost to families,” he said.

Twice before the Club held successful raffles. In the past few years, the organization’s membership increased 60 percent. “Families need a safe, enriching and essentially free place for their children to be after school. To help meet the increased demand for our programs during this recession, we embarked on our third raffle,” said Elzinga.  This time, sales were below prior raffles’ ticket sales and the board of directors made the fiscally conservative decision to cancel the raffle and issue refunds.

Letters are being mailed today and tomorrow to all ticket buyers, informing them of the cancellation and asking how they would like refund: check or credit card. “We will process refunds immediately according to their wishes,” Elzinga said. The information is also on the raffle website,

“This organization is here to inspire and enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. We remain financially strong, we are continuing to serve our community’s growing need for services that support healthy child development for all children, especially those who need us most,” stated Elzinga. “We welcome community involvement so log onto for ways you can get involved, volunteer or donate.”

By involving parents, volunteers, educators and the business community, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme helps youth reach their full potential through a positive environment, lifelong learning and programs dedicated to the arts, education, character and leadership development, health and recreation. Programs are based on physical, emotional, cultural and social needs, and are designed to expand participants’ areas of interest. For more information, visit

“So Cal Gas Co. Grants $20,000 to Boys & Girls Club”

Posted in Uncategorized by BGCOP Staff on February 27, 2012

The Southern California Gas Company presented a $20,000 grant to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme recently as part of a 2011 Education Initiative. BGCOP will use the grant to support College Bound, an educational enhancement program intended to guide students through the process of reaching high school graduation and attending college.

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“Funding found to revamp Ventura County juvenile offender program”

Posted in Uncategorized by BGCOP Staff on February 15, 2012

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme for three years provided a second chance to local juveniles serving in area detention facilities.

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