Posted: September 26th, 2019
Right now, 11.3 million kids are home alone afterschool, without adult supervision. One out of six students fails to graduate from high school on time. Nearly half of youth don’t believe the American Dream is possible. It doesn’t have to be this way. At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, we see, every day, the inequities and roadblocks our country’s young people face. With that in mind, we are committed to providing every child the opportunity for a better future, no matter their background, to assure success is within reach for every young person who comes through our doors and that everyone can achieve their full potential. We know our future can be seen by the state of kids and teens today. With the launch of this inaugural advocacy platform, the Agenda for America’s Youth, Clubs across the nation are joining together to speak with a unified voice on issues and solutions that can move the needle for America’s young people.
Out-of-school time is at the forefront of the agenda because we believe it is the critical vehicle for accomplishing these solutions for kids and teens, including ensuring Safer Childhoods so every child feels safe physically and emotionally, not just in Clubs, but everywhere. Clubs not only make kids’ childhoods safer, they build the resiliency that will last young people a lifetime. We will champion issues that support youth in making positive decisions and embracing Healthy Lifestyles & Wellness. We prepare youth for life after the Club with Education, Leadership opportunities and Workforce Readiness, equipping them with the skills they need for success in the workforce while fostering partnership that create access to real-life experiences to explore career options. When every young person has access to quality out-ofschool time opportunities, when they’re safe emotionally and physically, when they are healthy and when they have the leadership skills for great futures — that is how we ensure equity and inclusion for all young people. When we think about Boys & Girls Clubs’ reach and scale — more than 4,600 Clubs in communities across the nation and our presence in nearly every Congressional district — we have an incredible opportunity to create more awareness, understanding and support around the issues youth face today. That’s why the Agenda for America’s Youth was created. But we can’t do it alone. Our kids’ success isn’t just on Congress or our state legislature. It’s on all of us to create change for youth in America, creating real opportunity based on kids’ potential — not on the circumstances that surround them. Our young people are the promise of tomorrow, our future leaders and innovators of our economy. Prioritizing and investing in afterschool time not only leads to better outcomes for our kids. It leads to a healthier, safer and more prosperous nation. Join us at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis in telling our elected leaders to prioritize our kids by prioritizing this Agenda. Our kids are the future. We must invest in them.