Kevin Lai, Wattles Club volunteer

Discovering your Calling through Volunteering

Mena Dodios: Volunteer Extraordinaire, Game Enthusiast, Empowerer of Youth

Be Great Ball Raises over $610,000 to support Youth Dreams

Five children sit, listen to music, and meditate in the Regence Club Peace Room

Supporting Mental Health in Children

Youth need support.

Across our state and nation, we know that children and teens are struggling with stress and mental health concerns. High rates of youth suicide, homelessness, poverty, and food insecurity, coupled with low access to mental health services, puts our youth in dire need of support.

At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro, we don’t just provide supportive programming for academics, healthy lives, and career readiness. We also have dedicated Youth and Family Services staff at each Club, who support young people’s social emotional wellness, mental health, and other basic needs. A commitment to equity and trauma-informed care underlies all our efforts.

In order for youth to reach their full potential, they need our full support, which is why the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro is committed to:

  • Breaking down barriers to accessing mental health care through community partnerships and in-Club counseling.
  • Creating caring relationships with adult mentors to build resilience.
  • Prioritizing social emotional skill development to equip our youth to be ready for their classrooms and future jobs.
  • Providing services that our youth, families, and communities need to not only reach their full potential, but thrive together.

If you or a loved one need access to healthcare, food, housing, counseling, or other community services, you can see a listing of community resources on our Youth & Family Services page.

How can I help?

  1. Provide meaningful mentorship to our youth by signing up to volunteer! We have opportunities for you to coach, support arts programs, provide academic help, and so much more.
  2. Become an advocate for youth by joining Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Catalyst for Change network. When you sign up, you’ll receive tools and email notices that will empower you to make your voice heard to members of Congress and take action on the issues that impact our youth.
  3. Make a donation to support services in our Clubs. We can’t do this work without your help, and every dollar makes a difference.

 

KeyBank logo, black text with red key

$278,000 Grant from KeyBank Offers New Infusion for YouthForce Career Development Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PORTLAND, OR. (Dec. 4, 2018) – A three-year $278,000 grant from KeyBank to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro (BGCP) will provide new funding for its YouthForce career development program, thus expanding localized opportunities for teen training and employment.

“Helping underserved youth realize their full potential is critical to their success and instrumental in building and maintaining a vibrant economy,” said Michelle Weisenbach, president of KeyBank in Oregon and Southwest Washington, in announcing the grant. “Philanthropy is part of KeyBank’s DNA. Our funding priorities at KeyBank make up four pillars: neighbors, workforce, education and service, and this program squarely addresses these issues with proven success in helping build stronger communities through improved workforce opportunities.”

“Our ongoing partnership with KeyBank has been vital in expanding opportunities for local youth to learn as they grow their employment skills,” says Erin Hubert, CEO of BGCP. “KeyBank has long been a stalwart and supportive partner in helping us build and expand the YouthForce program, and this collaboration speaks volumes to the commitment KeyBank holds to creating economic advancement for all people.”

YouthForce helps thousands of underserved, low-income and first-generation college-bound youth (ages 15-19 years) build job skills and create a path toward career success while maintaining educational achievement. At its core, YouthForce PDX empowers teens to develop a vision for their future and then provides them the experiences, resources and networks to achieve it.

Participants gain increased professional skills, comfort in the business environment, identification of career options/paths, knowledge of managing personal finances, increased confidence and a positive outlook on the future.

BGCP launched YouthForce in 2015 in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of King County and the Portland Timbers & Thorns, with a $500,000 grant from KeyBank. Since then, Portland Metro staff successfully scaled up the pilot program, YF PDX, by developing creative strategies and partnerships that uniquely meet the needs for career development for underserved youth in the Portland area.

Programs integrate adult coaching and mentoring, skill building workshops, and hands-on work experience through paid internships to empower teens to develop the competencies they need to achieve their educational and career potential.

This grant will help fund three distinct programs including:

  • YouthForce University (YFU), which offers workshops and trainings; individual mentoring and advocacy; and academic and career planning.
  • TeamWork Apprenticeship Program, a unique internship experience with professional sports teams, such as Portland Timbers and Thorns, that offers meaningful, entry-level work experiences with the Guest Services Department during Providence Park events.
  • Career Internship Program (CIP), which includes hands-on work experience with local employers, professional networking, career exploration and skill building.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp’s roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $138.8 billion at September 30, 2018. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of over 1,100 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro

Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro (BGCP) empowers more than 4,000 youth each year to discover their full potential by providing safe, enriching after-school and summer programs. Learn more about how Clubs support youth in achieving academic success, becoming responsible leaders, and living healthy lives at bgcportland.org.

Kids in courtyard before the start of the Peace Pole Planting Ceremony out at Rockwood Boys & Girls Club

Peace Pole Planting at Rockwood Club

On July 18, 2018, Rockwood Club planted its very own symbol of peace in the courtyard garden. This Peace Pole contains the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” written in eight of the native languages spoken in the Club, including Arabic, Burmese, Chinese (Mandarin), English, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. 

Watch part of the ceremony here

Club youth gathered around as Al Jubitz, philanthropist and donor of the Peace Pole, Erin Hubert, Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro’s CEO, and Imani Muhammad, East County Senior Director for Boys & Girls Club of Portland, explained the history of Peace Poles and their hope that it will inspire a world without war and create lasting peace in our communities and at the Rockwood Club. Rubi Gastelum-Plata translated the ceremony into Spanish as they spoke. John Herman, recent recipient of the Roy Ciappini “Be Great” award for his 50 years of service to our Clubs, was also in attendance. 

Three of our teen members helped to mix the concrete and raise the pole with help from our Facilities Operations Manager, Mike Fisher, meticulously measuring and positioning the pole so that it will stand tall for the years to come. Other youth asked questions, commenting on the different languages, pointing out ones they recognized. One little girl asked Miss Rubi, our ceremony translator and staff member at Rockwood, if she would teach her to speak Spanish, to which she agreed with an “Of course!” 

Al encouraged the kids to work out their problems by using the peace pole as a symbolic place to peacefully resolve conflict, saying, “If you’re ever in conflict, which you will be, but when you’re in conflict with another, you might want to say, let’s go sit by the peace pole and talk this out.” 

If you are interested in having your own symbolic message of peace, we encourage you to contact and work with the generous and dedicated Rotarian Action Group for Peace, who have been doing their best to plant hundreds of Peace Poles throughout the Portland Metro community. 

About Rockwood Boys & Girls Club 

The Rockwood Boys & Girls Club opened in October 2017 and features learning, innovation, and activity spaces for youth 6-12 years of age and a stand-alone center for teens ages 13-18. 

What is a Peace Pole? 

A Peace Pole is a crafted tribute that represents a symbolic message: May Peace Prevail on Earth. They contain 4-6 sides with notes of peace in different languages and have been planted all around the globe. When a Peace Pole is planted in your community, you are connected with people from all over who believe in the same goal: World Peace. These poles are present in 180 countries all over the world to encourage and remind to their communities to visualize and advocate for peace on earth. 

About Al Jubitz 

Al Jubitz is the Rotarian Action Group for Peace Treasurer and Honorary Chair in Portland, Oregon. After 34 years, Jubitz retired from the family business and is currently the President and founder of the Jubitz Family Foundation, a foundation that supports organizations that support peacebuilding, environmental sustainability, and early childhood education. Jubitz joined the Rotary in 1977 and believes the group has the ability to transform our world to a world beyond war.