|Supporting Programs, Transforming Lives
OJJDP's support for faith-based and community-based programs, such as its longtime support for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, has produced a number of success stories. The following are just a few examples.
Lima, OH. Located in an economically disadvantaged area of Lima, the local Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club has used OJJDP grant funds to support a preschool breakfast program, establish a Small Schools Project that provides an alternate learning environment for academically challenged teens, and institute an open gym program for youth ages 14-17. These programs have had a profound effect on local youth such as 15-year-old Brandon. A participant in the Small Schools Project, Brandon had a troubled home lifehis mother had died when he was 10 and his only sister was a single mother living in poverty with her 5 childrenand little hope for the future. With the help of the Boys & Girls Club, he began to see the importance of dedicating himself to his education. Brandon especially enjoyed participating in the open gym program, but he also gave back by performing community servicehelping to clean and maintain the Club's building, gym, and grounds. Through these and other Club activities, Brandon has become a productive member of his community.
Wilson, NC. In Wilson, the Salvation Army Boys Club used OJJDP funds to establish a teen program to serve more than 100 youth with additional Club hours on weekdays and Saturdays. The teen program initiatives included "Money Matters," a project in which teens market, renovate, and repair a local house to provide short-term housing for families in need, with rental proceeds going to support the Club; and "Teens in Action," in which teens perform community service such as lawn and yard maintenance at a local senior citizens' center. As a result of their participation in the Club's programs, teens like Kiara Spells have come into their own. With the confidence he gained at the Club, Kiara became president of the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes, made the honor roll, joined the ROTC, and was a starter on his high school basketball team.
Tulsa, OK. The Tulsa Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club used OJJDP grant funds to continue programs that seek to prevent and reduce delinquent behavior among youth while enhancing their educational development. Funds supported the Club's athletic programs, a 1-week summer camp program for disadvantaged youth, ACT/SAT preparation classes, and tutoring. One beneficiary of the Club's tutoring program was 10-year-old E.J. Before coming to the Club's tutoring lab, E.J. was failing math; with the help of his tutor and his own consistent effort and attendance, E.J. was able to receive a passing grade. More importantly, he learned the benefits and saw the rewards for his discipline and hard work.