Caring for Our Youth: Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island

 
Articulate and passionate, Jazmin Bronco, made our day by giving us hope that our youth are in good hands at the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island, and that their program is very worthy to receive our fullest support.
 
The Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island started in 1952.  Rotary helped to build the first clubhouse.  The organization provides support to working parents by offering a safe and caring after-school program.  The program has expanded and now serves approximately 1,000 youth in Hilo, Keaau, Pahoa, Pahala, and Ocean View, with plans to possibly include Waimea and West Hawaii.  A typical day starts at 2:30 with a snack and ends at 5:30.  The younger children get help with homework, while the older youth have the option to do homework and/or sports, gardening, art, or other activities.  For some of the participants, this may be their only meal until the next day in school for breakfast, so the program now has plans to serve a meal before the participants leave (48% of the BGCBI youth are enrolled in the free/reduced school lunch program, which is an indicator of economic hardship).