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NextGeneration - Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula

NextGeneration - Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula

In this issue 1 2 3 4 5

In this issue 1 2 3 4 5 6 The Opportunity Question The club addresses Silicon Valley’s youth opportunity gap. Editorial: Solutions Executive Director Peter Fortenbaugh discusses tactical plan for a Community of Learners. What happens at The Center for a New Generation? Club’s expanding K-8 school programs prepare students for academic success. Club’s 50th: the early days In the beginning: keep those doors open. Measuring youth outcomes The club’s collaboration with Stanford. Annual report And listing of supporters. NextGeneration FA L L 2 0 0 7 - W I N T E R 2 0 0 8 W I T H A N N U A L R E P O R T LETTER FROM REDWOOD CITY: With a Little Help from Our Friends From: Amy Schapiro, Academic Director, Mervin G. Morris Clubhouse Subject: To college... and beyond! At the Redwood City clubhouse, we are proud to announce that twelve of our graduating seniors have continued on their positive path of enrolling in college. In the areas these young people come from only 30-40% of students graduate from high school. Few go on to college. In recent years, the club has increased its efforts to address this, and it's working. Of these June high school graduates, some will be the first in their family to pursue a degree. Victor Rosas, Jorge Moreno, Francisco Espinoza and Arnaldo Castillo are all attending Foothill College. To help prepare for this big step, Arnaldo worked with volunteer Dennis Lenehan, a club board member. Arnaldo in turn helped fellow club member Francisco Espinoza to apply. Ivan Martinez worked with club staff to prepare his application to San Jose State University and now he’s there, continuing his already successful career in music production. David Brijil, Steven San Juan and Emma Quiroz are attending Cañada College. Emma is on Cañada's soccer team. Manuel "Manny" Contreras, Darius Moore and Joseph Garcia and will be joining them in the spring. Joseph was the clubhouse’s 2007 Youth of the Year. Club member Cynthia Flores is at San Francisco State University and Lizeth Chavez is attending Mills College in the East Bay. Lizeth was recently recognized as a "Young Woman of Excellence" by the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women. Her acceptance speech was so moving that one of the women present offered to help her obtain scholarships to attend college. These young people are role models. All of them have contributed time helping younger kids at the club. Arnaldo, Lizeth, Ivan and Victor have worked as Teen Staff at the club. Many of them come back frequently to volunteer as well. They are all fascinating and talented individuals. We look forward to watching them flourish, graduate and succeed in whatever careers they choose. Graduates (some in photos on cover and above): David Brijil, Arnaldo Castillo, Lizeth Chavez, Francisco Espinoza, Cynthia Flores, Joseph Garcia, Ivan Martinez, Darius Moore, Jorge Moreno, Emma Quiroz, Victor Rosas, Steven San Juan Announcement: National Recreation Foundation Presents Challenge The National Recreation Foundation has awarded the club a challenge grant of $300,000 to support the school-based Center for a New Generation program over the next three years. The Foundation, based in Bloomington, Indiana, has been a major supporter of the club for more than a decade. Its previous investments in the club’s Healthy Choices Initiative have fostered broad implementation and improvements of Fitness, Athletics and Life Skills Programs at the clubhouses, including Triple Play and Smart Moves. This latest grant requires that the club first raise $300,000 from new or lapsed donors. It will also match gifts from current donors that increase their giving by 25% or more this year. The club is deeply grateful for the Foundation’s confidence and support and for the advocacy of Foundation trustee Bob Jaunich. With the community’s support the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula can meet this challenge. To take advantage of this opportunity, visit or call Chris Canter at (650)-646-6128

A Question of Opportunity CIVIC ACTIVIST STUART MOLDAW SAYS HE BEGAN HIS SUPPORT OF THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF THE PENINSULA WHEN HE AWOKE TO THE SHOCKING DIFFERENCE IN OPPORTUNITY EXISTING BETWEEN KIDS WEST OF HIGHWAY 101 AND THOSE ON THE EAST SIDE. 101 ISN’T THE ONLY DIVISION: REDWOOD CITY, NEIGHBORING AFFLUENT ATHERTON, ALSO HAS THOUSANDS OF LOW-INCOME PARENTS STRUGGLING TO KEEP THEIR KIDS FROM AMONG THE 60 PERCENT WHO DON’T MAKE IT THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL. THE OPPORTUNITY GAP IS WIDENING, NOT DIMINISHING. MORE EFFECTUAL STRATEGIES AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS ARE NEEDED TO ADDRESS THIS CONDITION THREATENING SILICON VALLEY’S FUTURE. Atwelve-year-old in western Menlo Park or Palo Alto goes home from school each day to parents who likely have master’s degrees, and who contribute a few thousand dollars supplement so their public schools can spend an annual $8,000 on each student. Their son or daughter is taught in classes of about 15, and 90 percent of their peers are proficient in math and English. Baseball, piano and chess are among their after-school activities; summer camps encourage their learning skills, and a special tutor helps with any weak spots in math or science. Their homework room at home is quiet; their eyes are on SATs and APs from an early age, and they know the difference between Stanford and Cal. Their involvement with gangs is on television. Almost all will graduate from high school and attend college. In eastern Menlo Park, Redwood City and East Palo Alto, a youngster likely returns from school to spend the remaining four hours before dinner looking for something to do. Family is often a single parent or grandmother working long hours with less than a 9th grade education, and only half the families speak English. Public schools offer the kids a $4,000-a-year education in big classes, with peers typically 20 percent proficient in math and English. At home with no adult, they may have to take care of a little sister, and they watch dumbing tv or play violent video games. Not unusually, Young people in the upper income quarter of the population have a 75% chance of getting a college degree. Those in the poorest quarter have an 8.6% chance. evening fills the house to overflowing with more than one family. Even the best of these twelve-year-olds are tempted by their older brother’s action in the gang world. Most don’t graduate from high school. “The story of the past generation is one of widening income inequality,” reported the California Budget Project this summer, describing a gulf that continues to grow across the country, and to a greater degree in California. Silicon Valley’s huge income disparity translates as an opportunity gap for youngsters trying to grow up in it. Persistent low test scores and high-school drop-out rates in the ranks of racial minorities predict more Success attitudes must start young, with constantly reinforced ideas about finishing high school and building a future. Below, Jerry Conneal, 13, gets an afterschool head start on studies at one of the club’s four school-based programs. dangers ahead. The opportunity issue is magnified by profound changes in the need for U.S. workers in recent years. The number of unskilled jobs has plummeted, and more than 85 percent of jobs now require high school and vocational educations. There is also increased belief in the business sector that more college-level educations for youth from low income communities are essential to the balanced growth of Silicon Valley. College is indeed within their reach, as the graduates featured in this issue of NextGeneration are proving. At the TechNet Conference last October, Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers renewed his call to refocus society’s investment in education so the U.S. can improve its wavering success in the global competition for talent. He said 71 percent of engineers in Silicon Valley are of Asian descent--a huge asset to the industry. But many in the Valley’s other minority groups, if supported by the community in their climb from the opportunity gap, can also take their place in this workforce. At stake is America’s socio-economic stability as well as its global competitiveness. Today’s 70 percent high-school drop-out rate in lowincome areas looks like disaster in the making, for the next generation, for Silicon Valley, and for the nation. The truth is, we can fix it. 1

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