It's 3 p.m., and the school dismissal bell rings. Across the country, 15 million school-age children go to a home without adult supervision. One out of five live in poverty, and one in four kids won't graduate on time.
However, when school is out for the day, Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) is in, and they’re actively helping our youth every day. Ninety-seven percent of Club teens expect to graduate from high school. BGCA strives to inspire our next generation of leaders through programs that foster arts, education, careers, leadership, character and more. Clubs provide a safe place for children to learn and grow with the help of adult mentors and through these life-changing programs.
We’re proud to support BGCA’s mission to provide opportunity for our youth through the Darden Foundation’s Recipe for Success® initiative. We sponsor BGCA’s Diplomas to Degrees program, which involves a range of services that help Club members get set up for a successful education and beyond. Last year alone, Diplomas to Degrees provided college readiness training and tools to nearly 22,000 teens in 500 Clubs across the country.
Our support of BGCA goes back to Darden’s first CEO, Joe R. Lee, and his passion for the organization. In fact, the Club location in Eatonville, Florida, is named the Joe R. Lee Branch. Olive Garden President Dave George also shares Joe’s passion as a Trustee for BGCA’s Southeast Region for the past four years. As a Trustee, Dave is actively involved in programs and champions the organization throughout Darden.
Today, BGCA is launching its Great Futures campaign to raise awareness about the issues affecting our youth. Every afternoon can be a chance to help them. We hope you’ll join us in ringing the bell, spreading the word and getting involved with your local Club.