Gathering for Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 6th Annual National Days of Advocacy
This week in Washington, D.C., Boys & Girls Club leaders, board volunteers, members alumni and I gathered in Washington, D.C., to participate in BGCA’s 6th Annual National Days of Advocacy (NDOA).
We came from all over the country because Clubs want to work with Congress – and all levels of government – to advocate for youth. We came to speak up for all kids and their right to equitable opportunities and experiences that can help them succeed now and over the long run. Over 200 Club delegates held meetings with Congresspeople and their staffs this week, conveying the urgent challenges kids face every day; maybe none more compelling than the painful fact that 1 in 5 U.S. young people are living in poverty.
NDOA gave us the opportunity to explain what Clubs are capable of accomplishing, especially with the support of our elected leaders. We spoke about vital services Clubs provide and federal programs that help deliver them. Programs like the Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers and Department of Justice’s National Youth Mentoring program, which help kids in every state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and military installations worldwide succeed in school, work and life.
It was an incredibly energizing and motivating week. Of course, Club advocacy isn’t an annual event to celebrate and forget till next year. Boys & Girls Clubs will continue to raise our voices for young people and provide them with access to valuable programs and solutions to realize a successful present and a great future.