Building Economic Opportunity: Youth Workforce Readiness
Real, lasting change takes collaboration, big ideas and bold action. BGCM is uniquely positioned to help make that type of change happen in Memphis. From an economic standpoint, Memphis has the highest child poverty rate in the nation for large cities.
• 44 percent of our children live in poverty.
• Students in low-income communities are, on average, three grade levels behind their peers in affluent communities by the 4th grade.
• Only 25 percent of all 3rd graders in public schools in Memphis read at 3rd grade level.
• Low-income students are five times more likely to drop out of school. Of all the students who graduate from public high school in Memphis, less than 20 percent are college ready.
Thanks to the Memphis City Council our students in these new clubs will learn life skills to help them reach their full potential, learning about healthy choices, character development, education and leadership, athletics, and the arts. The new clubs will be modeled after the Craigmont High School club, which has operated for about four years.
The Club members at these schools will get together for after-school programs in dedicated classrooms and may also utilize the school’s gymnasium, cafeteria, and auditorium. There, students will learn to become leaders, take part in service learning, learn their way around a kitchen, play sports, do homework, and more. Some programs, like the music programs, may be tailor-suited to locations depending on what facilities are available. For example, some schools, like Westwood, will emphasize music programs due to their access to a music room.
There will also be a heavy emphasis on job readiness and workforce development. Students will have the opportunity to take advantage of the Juice Plus+ Technical Training Center at 903 Walker Ave., where they can choose from career tracks in logistics, automotive, culinary, welding, and IT. They will also learn soft skills needed to enter the workforce, money management, computer skills, and personal goal setting.
BGCM will provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. We know clubs make a difference based on the strong positive outcomes youth experience:
• 100 percent of seniors graduate with a plan for the future, and 100 percent of graduates go to college, get a job, or join the military.
• 81 percent of BGCM members show an increase in homework completion.
• 57 percent of alumni said the club saved their life.
• The percentage of Club girls who express an interest in a STEM career (47 percent) is more than three times greater than that of their same-aged female peers nationally (15 percent).
Readying Youth for Life & Work: Workforce Readiness Framework
Boys & Girls Clubs teach young people about judgment, creativity, decision-making, communication and collaboration. Their evidence-informed approach puts holistic skill development and career exposure at the forefront of young people’s experiences from the time they are six years old through their teen years, emphasizing three components to provide youth with the knowledge, skills and learning experiences they need to succeed in life and work.
EXPLORE—Clubs provide career exploration for youth, including exposure to the world of work, career assessments to identify talents and interests and opportunities to learn about post-secondary pathways to careers.
DEVELOP—Clubs provide the people, programs and places that help youth build their essential and technical skills.
APPLY—Clubs offer youth opportunities to practice skills through real-life work experiences, such as service-learning, job shadowing, first jobs, internships and pre-apprenticeships. This allows young people to apply academic and technical skills that enhance the employability.
Hamilton High School
1363 E Person Ave
Memphis, TN 38106
Keelon Lawson II
Oakhaven High School
3125 Ladbrook Rd
Memphis – TN 38118