This past week, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County celebrated the huge accomplishments of Club members who recently graduated from high school. Now that Clubs have reopened for direct service, celebrations across the county ranged from parades to pinning ceremonies, to even drive-thru events. High school Club members outperform the county’s general high school population with a nearly 100% graduation rate annually, with 92% of Club grads entering college or post-secondary degree-granting educational programs.
“There’s no better proof of the positive impact that Boys & Girls Clubs has on Palm Beach County than seeing out Club members thrive. Our goal is to help our Club members fulfill their hopes and dreams of breaking the cycle of poverty that they were born into, ” said President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. “These changes are so powerful they can create a generational change in a family, and even impact an entire community.”
The largest celebration was at the new Smith & Moore Family Teen Center in Belle Glade. The ceremony kicked off with a parade that started at city hall and followed Martin Luther King Jr Blvd to the new Club. After graduates were honored, families were invited in small groups to tour the newly completed 13 thousand square foot teen center.
Our new Smith & Moore Family Teen Center is a model for what we would like to do across Palm Beach County. Our new facility is state-of-the-art and geared towards helping our teens create a successful post-graduation path to success. That’s one more reason why celebrating our seniors is so important. It shows that success is possible to our other Club members,” said President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Jaene Miranda.
It was important for the graduates’ accomplishments to be celebrated despite the difficulties to host a celebration with COVID-19 safeguards. Not only is it important to celebrate individual accomplishments, but these graduates are a symbol for younger Club members that hard work truly pays off.
“Now more than ever, we want to show our seniors that nothing, not even a global pandemic can stand in the way of them achieving their goals. Graduation is a major milestone for our seniors. A time of celebration, hope and pride in the fact that they have successfully overcome numerous challenges to make it to this day. Here at Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, we strive to honor our seniors and this major milestone,” said Valerie Koss, senior career bound director.