EDUCATE: Academic Success

HBCU College Tour 2018

Ten Club youth had the incredible opportunity to be a part of a college tour in March of 2018. The tour spanned 13 universities and allowed Club members to see up-close and personal why college is a worthwhile goal for them as they build their plan after high school with the help of the Club. Youth returned home with lists of their top schools, plans for standardized tests and financial aid and a vigor that will drive them effectively through the college application process. Trips like this one fit into the Club’s larger goal of providing Club youth the resources and support necessary for them to develop plans for after high school graduation.

These were just a few of the thoughts Club members shared:

Alita: I enjoyed being exposed to organizations and meeting sororities. I enjoyed meeting the VP at Wilberforce. She had a very powerful message that all students can succeed if they try. I’m currently interested in becoming a dance instructor or massage therapist. Without Boys & Girls Club of Lake County, I would not have ever had an experience like this. I now believe that I have a future and can make it in college.

Thailly: Attending this trip has changed my life. It has been a very powerful experience. Everyone we have met has encouraged us that college is possible and we can do it. I really enjoyed learning about the writing lab and math lab at West Virginia State University. It’s great that the schools have small sizes and tutors available to help you succeed. At the moment, I’m interested in English, physical therapy, and philosophy. With this college trip, I was able to learn about colleges and resources to help me pay for school.

Kaylyn: I enjoyed that the VP of Wilberforce and President of West Virginia didn’t just care about us attending their universities, but they focused on us going to school period. They told us that we are the future, and we have all the knowledge and technology in the world to make our dreams come true.

Dominique: When I grow up, I would like to major in architecture. Attending this college tour has open my eyes to so many buildings, landscapes, design and so much more. I enjoyed meeting new people and learning new things about programs that I did not know existed.


Our Strategic Approach for Academic Success:

Boys & Girls Club of Lake County’s professionally trained staff are informal educators and strive to ensure that all Club youth, through their experiences at school and with the Club, are able to make good post-secondary education decisions. This vision identifies key objectives and strategies for working with members ages 6–12 and 13–end of high school. By providing RESULTS BASED programming the Club has set itself apart from other organizations of its kind. Boys & Girls Clubs of America helps local Clubs combat problems that contribute to low high school graduation rates by implementing localized activities and strategies with rigor, emphasizing more intentional integration of programs across core program areas and conducting and sharing findings of evaluation efforts.

It is the goal of the Club to support all Club members as they maintain or improve their grades, progress to the next level and graduate from high school. To ensure academic success is within reach of every youth, the Club implements the following programming:

Power Hour: Making Minutes Count

Power Hour provides engaging homework help and tutoring programs that encourage Club members at every age to become self-directed learners. With daily comprehensive homework help and tutoring programs, POWER HOUR is designed to raise the academic proficiency of Club members.

Project Learn

Project Learn reinforces the academic enrichment and school engagement of young people during the time they spend at the Club. The strategy is based on research demonstrating that students do much better in school when they spend their non-school hours engaged in fun, but academically beneficial, activities.


Club staff will provide fun and engaging project-based teaching experiences to help youth:

    • Understand their media world
    • Identify and develop digital interests
  • Earn certifications as they make progress

My.Future begins with “Essentials,” a suite of project-based experiences that provide members of all ability levels with a foundation of technology skills.

When members have accumulated a defined number of project-based outcomes, as evidenced by their digital portfolio products and (at the advanced levels) an in-person presentation to their peers, they qualify for signed, certified, Boys & Girls Club of America digital badges. These digital badges can be added to a member’s resume to indicate their technical competency.

In addition, members can pursue interest pathways through Extensions, which allow instructional coaches and members to dive into specific topics of interest. Topics of interest may be technical or computer based; including robotics, game design and even online journalism. If members enjoy the logic of programming, they might like to explore introductions to coding through building a game, learning code through Khan Academy or even using Code Academy to build experience in formal programming language.

Money Matters: Make It Count

Money Matters promotes financial responsibility and independence among teen Club members. Participants learn how to manage a checking account, create a budget, save and invest, start small businesses and pay for college. The program, designed specifically to help teens (ages 13–18), consists of five components: Teen Personal Finance Guide, Program Facilitator’s Guide, Money Matters Web site, Schwab Employee Volunteer Program and the Money Matters Awards.

d2D (Diplomas to Degrees)

Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Diplomas to Degrees (d2D) program is one element of the Academic Success Strategy, BGCA’s response to the crisis in American education today. Nearly one-third of high school students failed to graduate on time in 2010; this number is even higher among African-American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American youth.

The d2D program – part of a larger movement geared to encourage Club members toward academic success, high school graduation, goal-setting and college readiness – is designed to guide and prepare teen members for post-secondary education so they can gain the knowledge and skills needed to develop and maintain successful careers. This program builds on other programs such as Power Hour: Making Minutes Count and BE GREAT: Graduate. Boys & Girls Clubs of America has developed the d2D program with the specific goal of preparing youth for further education in trade school, community college or a four-year college or university.

Be Great: Graduate.

This program uses the early warning signals – attendance, behavior and course failure – to identify youth at risk of dropping out of school. Youth are paired with a mentor to provide consistent support to help youth develop the academic, emotional and social skills needed to achieve academic success. Through this process it is our aim to ensure that all Club members graduate from high school on time, ready for a post-secondary education and a 21st-century career.


CareerLaunch is a career exploration and mentoring program for teens ages 12 -18. This program includes access to an interest survey that helps teens explore careers, identify training or college requirements, seek out financial aid and play skills-building games. There’s also an easy-to-use Career Exploration Quick Reference Guide with a broad range of career planning and job skills activities that Club staff or volunteers can use with teens. The CareerLaunch Portfolio contains a Teen Tips booklet with helpful interviewing and on-the-spot job tips.