Great Futures Moments

Everyday youth at our Clubs demonstrate positive service and leadership at school, home, church and community. We celebrate them and the staff at our Clubs for the impact they make in the lives of these children. Read their stories below.

JaLisa Wines is the 2017 Youth of the Year

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) is proud to announce the 2017 Youth of the Year winner JaLisa Wines! Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. A premier youth recognition program, it recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club.

As the new Youth of the Year and ambassador for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, this 17 year old Herbert Hoover Club member is a true example of an extraordinary young woman for her leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Now that she’s won the honor, JaLisa says, “I want to motivate youth to achieve their goals by implementing programs that will positively change society.” She is a senior at Confluence Preparatory Academy and plans to attend Truman State University to become an Accountant.

JaLisa was selected from a group of eleven finalists who shared their story of perseverance and dedication to their family, Club and community before a panel of judges who chose the winner. In addition to being crowned the title at BGCSTL’s Great Futures Gala, she also received a $2500 scholarship.

“The Youth of the Year honorees are shining examples and living proof that great futures start at Boys & Girls Clubs. We are so proud of all of our Youth of the Year participants who took the time to complete this challenging and worthwhile process. All possess the ability and ambition to be successful leaders,” said Dr. Flint Fowler, President, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis.

To view or share the Youth of the Year video highlighting all of the finalists, click here.


St. Louis Realtors Host Boo Bash at Herbert Hoover Club

After a successful Back-to-School event where the St. Louis REALTORS® Association and its affiliates purchased backpacks and school supplies for over 1,000 youth ages 6-18, they were on to the next opportunity to place smiles on the faces of Boys & Girls Clubs youth! boobashwebThanks to the association and its volunteers for coming together Halloween weekend to build a haunted house, buy materials and collecting/buying candy treats for over 500 members at BGCSTL Herbert Hoover Club this past Halloween night. To see video from the Spooktacular event, click here.



Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis is extremely grateful to UPS Foundation for supporting the issue of distracted driving for teens with their UPS Road Code program. Over 200 teens from our Clubs have been able to experience this life-saving program that helps them make smart decisions on the road. In Missouri alone, 80% of car crashes involve distracted driving; Missourians younger than 25 make up 30% of those fatalities. UPS Road Code equips our teens with the education needed to avoid life altering situations.

The program includes pre and post-tests to gauge their safe driving knowledge, 2-4 hour learning sessions and one of the teen favorites, behind-the-wheel simulators that give them real life, on the road driving scenarios! BGCSTL teens are itching to drive, and UPS Road Code helps them do that safely!roadcode

As part of the National Teen Driver Safety week, an event was held at our Herbert Hoover Club where 100 teens signed commitments to drive distraction free & Mayor Francis Slay proclaimed 10/13 teen safe driving day!

UPS Road Code and BGCSTL were featured on KPLR’s “The Pulse” thirty minute program with Shirley Washington. To view the segment, click here.



Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Ferguson Club members Danielle and Troy were selected to perform for over 400 Boys & Girls Clubs professionals at the National Midwest Conference in Louisville, Kentucky this past week! Danielle was also chosen to participate on a teen panel. #greatfutures #BGCSTLproud


View Troy’s performance, here. View Danielle’s performance, here. See Danielle & Troy’s duet, here.


Thanks to Good Sports, McDonald’s and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis members have received 922 pieces of equipment, including football helmets, soccer balls and goals, sports apparel, track spikes, jump ropes, playground balls, footballs and more. The total value of the donation was $15,414.39 and will impact close to 2,000 area kids.

BGCSTL received the equipment as the Grand Prize award winner of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group’s Let’s Play initiative. The competition was launched to provide kids in the St. Louis community with the sports equipment they need to be active. The Let’s Play Challenge invited McDonald’s restaurant employees in the St. Louis community to nominate deserving youth-serving area organizations that they felt would benefit from a donation of brand new sports equipment.

During the event where the equipment was unveiled to BGCSTL Herbert Hoover Club members, all of the community partners involved spoke while kids participated in active games, such as soccer and flag football, to break in the new equipment.




Bayer’s Consumer Health Division, the makers of Claritin®, the #1 selling non-drowsy allergy brand, teamed up with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help youth enjoy the benefits of being outdoors. The makers of Claritin funded the makeover of outdoor spaces at Clubs in three cities across the country, including St. Louis! The new initiative encourages play and creates active spaces for youth.

Their donation covered the cost to renovate and update the tennis courts at BGCSTL Herbert Hoover Club! Improvements included repairing the damaged fencing and gate, filling the cracks, resurfacing, new netting and US Open style colors on the court.

Long known for our efforts to encourage healthy lifestyles for members, we will use these courts to teach the game of tennis and promote fitness.




Boys & Girls Clubs of Ferguson members Troy, Danielle and Mariah were presented with the opportunity to participate in a recent Arts & Faith St. Louis High School and College Student Video Contest. Each submission required participants to submit a video that expressed their hopes on how to create a more harmonious St. Louis. At the same time, a group of Club members, including Troy, had been given an assignment during their Boys & Girls Club Music Studio session to write a song about love or unity – everyone picked love – except for Troy.

This group of powerful and talented teens wrote, performed and taped an original song to submit for the contest. The song, “Hold On”, was performed by Troy Staten and written in association with the Club’s Music Studio and Project L.A.M. under the direction of two time Grammy award winner Alonzo “Zo” Lee and songwriter Antonio Dunn.

Turns out Troy won the competition and the opportunity to perform his song live at the Arts & Faith St. Louis 10th anniversary 9/11 interfaith commemoration in music at The Sheldon Concert Hall! He was also featured as one of the “Harris Heroes” on KMOV News 4 and on HEC-TV. To view the KMOV news clip, click here.




The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis recently celebrated the retirement of Board Chair Steve Bloom of Enterprise Holdings where he served as President of Enterprise Fleet Management and Senior Vice President of Enterprise Car Sales. He is also wrapping up his time as our Chief Volunteer Officer. Steve and his wife Kelly have been tremendous champions for the Club – contributing their time, resources and talent for more than ten years. In addition to his services as Board Chair, he led our agency through a successful name change, co-chaired our annual fundraiser All That Jazz (now known as Great Futures Gala) that provides life-changing opportunities for our kids, and encouraged dozens of his friends and associates to support our work. Since Steve is a huge hockey fan, we couldn’t think of a better way to send him off to Colorado than with an authentic jersey and hockey stick signed by St. Louis Blues right winger, Vladimir Tarasenko. Thanks Steve for making life better for many! We will miss you!




Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis is grateful to announce the recent contribution from an anonymous donor in the amount of $70,000 to support general Club operations. Although the donor is unknown, the impact of their gift will be evident in the lives of the children we serve. For more information on how you can support the Boys & Girls Clubs, contact Ruth Lederman.



Community Partner, St. Louis REALTORS®, Helps Turn Back-to-School Celebration into Back-to-School Solution

Facing a critical shortage of backpacks and school supplies to accommodate the more than 6,500 children across all county and city school districts served by Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, we turned to St. Louis REALTORS® and its nearly 8,000 members to help raise the necessary supplies our youth would need to succeed in school this fall. Without hesitation, St. Louis REALTORS and its members purchased hundreds of backpacks and thousands of school supplies, which were distributed to more than 500 children on July 28 during one of the Clubs final Triple Play Days at its Herbert Hoover Club located at 2901 N. Grand Avenue. As part of the event, several Club youth helped stuff the backpacks for their peers. View the adorable kids in the video below. Click here to see the full video.



Club Members Visit New Busch Stadium Build-a-Bear 

Two Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis – Twillman Club members were the first to experience the new Busch Stadium Build-A-Bear Workshop location. They had a “bear-y” good time with former Cardinals pitcher Kyle McClellan as he helped them build bears from start to finish including selecting their attire, accessories, voice, heart and more! Click here to see the full video.



Youth of the Year, Shaila Jones, Throws First Pitch at Cardinals Game

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Youth of the Year, Shaila Jones, experienced throwing out the 1st pitch during a Sunday night Cardinals game. As part of the Build-A-Bear Workshop themed night at Busch Stadium, which included a bear giveaway, the Build-A-Bear team was also offered the chance to throw out the first pitch but rather than have one of their reps do it, they wanted to extend this opportunity to one of our Club youth! Build-A-Bear also made it possible for Shaila’s parents and family to enjoy this experience and the game with her as well! Click here to see Shaila throw the ball.



Over 100 BGCSTL Herbert Hoover Club members are now more confident when it comes to swimming and more familiar with lifesaving water-safety skills thanks to ZAC Camp!


A Club Member shared about the camp, “ZAC Camp has given me confidence! Now when my family asks me to go swimming on the weekend, I’ll be excited to go instead of shy away from it!”

To continue the remarkable legacy of 6-year-old Zachary Archer Cohn who drowned in a drain entrapment in 2007, Conn.-based water safety organization The ZAC Foundation teamed up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis to bring the Foundation’s award-winning ZAC Camp to five to nine-year-old’s through its grant program. The ZAC Camp program combined in-pool swimming lessons, safety classes with First Responders, and classroom curriculum based on tenets of water safety taught in a children’s book co-authored by Zachary’s parents – The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim. By week’s end campers were equipped with critical tools to lead them on the path to safe swimming, including: fundamental stroke training, emergency preparedness and response, and basic lifesaving techniques.


Congratulations to the 11 Normandy High School members participating in the BGCSTL Be Great Graduate program on their graduation from the UPS Road Code program yesterday! UPS Road Code is a free national program educating teens on safe driving techniques.The program focuses on various safety principles, from basic instructions to the consequences of risky behaviors such as talking on cell phones, texting or drinking while driving. Members practice what they learn on driving simulators which feature a computer screen that serves as a windshield to the programs interactive animation, a steering wheel, gas and brake pedals.


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