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BGCPDA Receives Advocacy Award

Advocate for Youth Badge

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area Receives Advocate of Youth Award Club Recognized for Advocacy on Behalf of Youth

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area received an Advocate for Youth Award from the national Boys & Girls Clubs of America for their advocacy on behalf of South Carolina’s youth.

“Clubs like ours have a unique role as community leaders in providing valuable out-of-school time programs to our country’s youth that enable them to achieve great futures,” Neal Zimmerman, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area (BGCPDA) Executive Director.  “We are wholly committed to raising the visibility of the needs of our community youth, especially the ones who need us most, and show what we can accomplish with the support of our elected officials and our community.”  

BGCPDA builds relationships in each of the communities where Clubs are located, Florence, Hartsville, Hemingway, Lake City, Pamplico, and Timmonsville introducing administrators and elected officials to the dedication we share to improving our society by training the next generation with the character and skills to succeed.

Specifically, the BGCPDA teamed with Florence 1 School officials to identify homeless youth to serve at the Florence Club with comprehensive youth development program including daily homework help; weekly supplemental ELA & Math activities; weekly STEM, character development, and fitness programming, and enriching field studies.

Further, the BGCPDA has fostered a deep connection with the City of Lake City and Mayor Yamekia Robinson where the city has invested in its own Y.O.U.T.H. Intervention Program in 2022, annual special events for children, Girl Scouts, and Esports programs to expand opportunities for youth as well as continuing its support of the Lake City Boys & Girls Club.

Other valuable partners include the State Department of Education, DSS, DJJ, Florence School District 2, Florence School District 3, and the City of Florence, among others, allowing us to serve 1,000 youth each day.

“Because of the steadfast advocacy of leaders like Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area, our nation’s youth have access to skills and experiences that can put them on the path to great futures,” said Jim Clark, CEO & President of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “These successes aren’t possible without a strong partnership with elected officials at the local, State and Federal levels. I commend Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area for their tireless work on behalf of their community’s youth and congratulate them on this much-deserved recognition.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Club Advocacy Engagement Recognition Program recognizes the advocacy work Clubs do every day, with a major emphasis on impact, creativity and innovation. The program consists of three tiers for Clubs: Advocate (top 50% of Clubs), Hero (top 40% of Clubs) and Champion (top 10% of Clubs). Clubs get points for impactful engagements and those points determine what tier a Club is placed.

“Boys & Girls Clubs champion opportunities for all youth, equipping young people with the experiences and tools they need to succeed,” Zimmerman said. “Our advocacy isn’t just a one-day event. We are raising our voices every single day, to ensure top issues and solutions impacting young people are prioritized in our community, our state and at the national level.”

About Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area

For 60 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area has provided a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. Our six Clubs offer caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours in Florence, Hartsville, Hemingway, Lake City, Pamplico, and Timmonsville. Our corporate office is located inside the Florence Club, 310 W. Roughfork St., Florence. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee Area online at www.bgcpda.org and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@bgcpeedee).

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has provided a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. Clubs offer caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Boys & Girls Clubs programming promotes academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles. More than 5,400 Clubs serve over 3.3 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook and Twitter.

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