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


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 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

Two children in winter coats coming through doors of Club

Top 10 Reasons to Give

There are countless reasons to give this holiday season! We reached out to learn what the Clubs mean to our members, staff and volunteers, and their top reasons for why YOU should give to Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro.

Here are the Top 10 reasons why YOU should make a charitable donation to the Clubs, directly from our members, staff and volunteers!

  1. “It is important that people understand that when they donate to BGCP, they aren’t giving to an organization, they are giving to kids, our communities. We locate our clubs in the communities that need them the most, many of these kids come from broken homes. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland serves as a valuable resource for countless youth in the Portland area.”
    – Roberto Bermejo,  Site Director & Director of Youth Programs at Inukai Family Club
  2. “I owe a lot to the Boys and Girls Clubs. Specifically, it gave me a safe place to go, it was a place where I was able to learn, and it was first chance to play organized sports. I will always support the Boys and Girls Clubs because of the profound impact that it has had on my life and the lives of my children.”
    – Alex Molden, Former NFL DB and current volunteer
  3. “I have worked with a lot of youth development organizations, what’s special about the Boys & Girls Clubs is that we are able to build a relationship with a kid and maintain that relationship with them from age 6 all the way through their high school graduations. What we do is special, and we do it on a scale that I don’t think is replicated at many other non-profits.”
    – Sean Bascom, Director of Youth Programs at Blazers Club
  4. “The Boys & Girls Clubs have given me hope. Because of the Boys & Girls Clubs, I’m motivated to not just go straight home after school by myself. Instead I get to interact with my friends and just have fun! It’s a great resource in my life and I know lots of other kids who feel the same way.”
    – Johnathan, teen member at Rockwood Club
  5. “As a former member of Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland, I’ve seen first-hand what a donation can do to lift a kid’s spirit. A lot of times, parents may not be able to go above and beyond during the holiday season, due to income restrictions or a variety of other reasons. But that doesn’t mean that the kid doesn’t deserve to have a wonderful holiday season. It’s important to give back during this time of the year, because that donation can have a lasting impact on youth who really need it.”
    – Tyler Brown, Teen Program Manager at Blazers Club
  6. “An investment in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland is an investment in our communities and in the futures of local youth.”
    – Melissa Froman, Admin staff member
  7. “In my opinion the most important reason to donate to the Boys & Girls Clubs is because they really help out minorities. Especially in my community there’s a lot of poverty. They give out food for Thanksgiving, they do clothes drives all year, the BGCP really does a lot for people in my community beyond what you would typically expect. I think it’s really important to give back in any way you can.”
    – Teya Shearer, teen member at Regence Club
  8. “The BGCP provides local kids with a safe space where they don’t have to worry about outside problems. A donation to the BGCP this holiday season helps provide local kids with a safe-space where they can eat, play and be warm!”
    – Rubi Gastelum-Plata, Youth & Family Services staff member at Rockwood Club
  9. “Every day at the BGCP we work together with our communities to create great futures for local youth. By giving, you are helping create a better community and a brighter future for Portland’s kids.”
    – Rachel Schutz, Interim VP of Club Services, Sr. Director of Youth, Family, & Trauma Informed Services and the Inukai Family Club
  10. “I think that the biggest reason to donate to BGCP is that many of the families that come to our Clubs are families in need. And it’s always a great experience to be able to give back to those less fortunate than you.”
    – Emily Valencia, teen member at Inukai Family Club

These are just a handful of the limitless reasons to donate to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland this holiday season! Your donation makes a huge impact for thousands of youth across the Portland metropolitan area. Whatever your reason for donating to the BGCP, thank you from all of us. Together we can build Great Futures for local youth!


Maybelle Clark Macdonald provides $100,000 matching grant challenge in support of the Rockwood Club