The Boys & Girls Clubs of Venice’s mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The Club was established as a VISTA project on Venice Beach in 1967 and began providing services the following year. Since then we have grown significantly. Today we operate five facilities - our main facility, the James A. Collins Unit, and four satellite sites on the campuses of Coeur d’Alene Elementary School, Short Avenue Elementary School, Mark Twain Middle School, and Venice High School. This year we are expanding our programming to Hamilton High School through a partnership with the JK Living Foundation.
The Venice Club provides a safe haven from negative influences, and positive relationships with trained, caring adult role models. We implement effective program initiatives in five core areas: 1) Character & Leadership Development; 2) Education & Career Development; 3) Health & Life Skills; 4) The Arts; and 5) Sports, Fitness & Recreation. Several Club programs have been recognized both locally and nationally for their impact and quality. We offer well-rounded, constructive, supervised programs that are sensitive to the needs of at-risk youth, and provide opportunities for positive growth and development. Our programs foster strong values, build self-esteem, promote healthy lifestyles, and cultivate a vision for the future. Combining the framework of successful national programs with the knowledge of the community, the strengths of community organizations, and the dedication and talents of staff and volunteers have created a successful strategy of youth development.
Our Teen Programs provide educational support, college/career pathway services, and leadership development. In 2012, the Venice High School graduation rate was 78%. According to the school report card, only 60% of all Venice High students will graduate in four years. The statistics are even worse for minority youth. According to the UCLA Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access, for every 100 African American and Latino students at Venice High, only 29 graduated, and only 12 of those took the “A-G” courses needed for entrance to California’s universities in 2009. This is in stark contrast to our Club members. An outside evaluation by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in 2012 shows Venice High School seniors who participated in our after school programs all four years had a 96.4% graduation rate!
48% of Club members are from single parent households
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