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Ms. Annette sits comfortably in a school chair, with her iconic headwrap wound neatly across her jet black hair.  Modest and unassuming, she is surrounded by an eclectic mixture of paper mache, acrylic paints, and past art projects – like monuments from classes she has instructed before.  To an onlooker, it all seems natural, as if she blends seamlessly into the tapestry of children's artwork. 

Yet her presence is anything but ordinary.  For 35 years Ms. Annette has spent her life advocating for children and she has left an indelible imprint on the multitude of young people who have participated in her classes.

As a Club kid turned to Club staff, Ms. Annette has spent a plethora of hours working with young people in a variety of capacities, but she found her home in the Bill LeFevre Center Art Room.

She doesn’t remember why she was originally drawn to art, but she does remember Barbara Stricker, former Art Director at the Addison Center, playing a transformative role in her life.

“Art is like therapy,” she said, “I don’t know why I love it so much, there is just something about it that pulls me in and teaching it to the kids is so much fun.  I just don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have this."

*This past year Ms. Annette was recognized for her length of service, 35 years, with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura.

*For others that would like to comment or add their stories of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura, please email peterm@bgclubventura.org.  

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with the Amgen Foundation to invest in STEM programming at our four Clubhouses in Ventura.

STEM a curriculum rooted in the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — is an interdisciplinary and applied approach to education.  Where all four subjects are woven together into real-world applications for children.

The project goals which aim to expand STEM programs for all ages, especially teen programs – are designed to build skills linked to success in school/careers; linking teens to businesses; establishing mentors, and STEM career exploration.  With the goal of building skills such as commitment and collaboration for teens who don't otherwise have access to these experiences.

The project underwent a competitive application process where only a select number of nonprofits were chosen.  We are very pleased to have the support of our partners at the Amgen Foundation and look forward to moving in this new direction.

 

The Gene Haas Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Haas Automation, better known for its expertise in machine tool building, recently donated $15K to support teen program growth for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura.

The teen program which has been more recent in development is designed to give teens the right footing to progress into adulthood through mentorship; leadership and outreach activities; financial literacy and career exploration.  While also simply giving time for teens to let down after school and have fun with friends.

Since the climb in teen participation at our four Clubhouses, the program has been growing exponentially, with a combined 90+ teens involved and our Oak View Center reporting the highest levels of engagement.

With teen numbers on the rise, the Club is looking into newer ways of supporting a teen population within the Club, with programs aimed at keeping teens engaged and proactive, so they can avoid influences that might take them on a different track.

 

There are so many ways to celebrate International Friendship Day. You may want to personalize it to your individual friendships, but in case you’re stumped, we have a few ideas.

You know volunteering has a positive influence (make friends, build connections, gain experiences, etc.), but did you know that it can actually assist your health?

Even if you care about a cause, how can you ensure you're a good fit for the position? Here are some ideas to help you find the right fit for volunteering.

If you live an altruistic life and donate to an organization or cause you care about, you might be surprised to find these life benefits from financial donating.

Happy Valentine's Day! From the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura Family to you and yours!

Gratitude is about more than taking a second to say “Thanks.” Gratitude shows true appreciation. This Thanksgiving, we have some ideas for how you can give gratitude.

October was a busy month for us! Click to read about the Teen Summit we sent our clubs to and how one of our teens won tickets to a Katy Perry concert! Also, we had our Founders' Society Induction - the highest honor bestowed by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura.... and more!

Halloween can be even more meaningful this year by promoting an altruistic lifestyle and giving back to your community. Check out these 13 spooky Halloween fundraising ideas.

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