More than 85% of Maryland Boys & Girls Club participants report their local Club helps them feel safe, connected and accepted
Boys & Girls Clubs of Maryland today announced results from a survey they commissioned to learn the impact their services have on Maryland youths, and to further refine programming to meet Club member needs. In a statewide sample, 657 youth and teens were polled to understand aspects of the Club that impacted their well-being. The research data proves that Clubs help members feel safe, connected, accepted, hopeful and fulfilled.
According to Boys & Girls Club participants:
– Club members feel safe, connected, accepted, hopeful, and fulfilled as a result of their Club experience.
– More than 85% of Maryland Club members say their Club helps them understand and express their feelings and solve problems.
– Clubs help members feel valued, listened to, and accepted, which results in them feeling less sad, frustrated by school, and stressed out by problems at home, and more likely to be relaxed, in a good mood, and look forward to the day.
– Club teens are 15% more likely than peers who do not attend a Club to have an adult from whom they seek help.
– When disaggregated by race, outcomes further increase:
o Hispanic teens who are Club members are 30% more likely to have an adult at the Club they can count on as compared to their peers that do not attend a Club.
o Black teens who are Club members are 15% more likely to have an adult at the Club they can count on as compared to their peers that do not attend a Club.
– 92% of Club members feel valued by their peers and adults in their lives.
“In more than 80 communities throughout the state Boys & Girls Clubs are providing vital services for kids and teens,” said Y’landa Burch, lead administrator, Boys & Girls Clubs of Maryland. “With the support of public and private funders, Clubs are not only reaching more kids but we are meeting them where they are to support their well-being. Boys & Girls Clubs stand ready to help more Maryland families.”
As outlined in the US Surgeon General’s Advisory “Protecting Youth Mental Health,” communities have an opportunity and responsibility to meet the needs of youth, including through the expansion of “programs that promote healthy development, support children, youth, and their families, and increase their resilience.” Additionally, the report encourages that “programs rigorously evaluate mental health-related outcomes.”
The impacts of isolation, anxiety, and depression manifest differently by age, gender, and other demographic factors. Maryland Boys & Girls Clubs complement efforts in schools and support families as the impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold. Clubs focus on prevention and equipping young people with the tools to identify emotions, resolve conflict, and cope with challenges.
Each spring, MD Clubs administer a common survey capturing indicators, some of which align with those in statewide tools, creating an opportunity for comparison. In spring of 2022, Clubs surveyed 597 youths. Rapid changes in community and mental health spurred this fall 2022 follow-up survey of 657 youths.
A recent, related study from the National Afterschool Alliance found that 8 in 10 voters want their elected leaders, at every level, to provide more funding for afterschool programs. The same study showed that 8 out of 10 voters also say that afterschool programs are an absolute necessity in their community, especially at a time when many programs have extensive waitlists.
“This high level of support for Out-of-School-Time programming coupled with the proven results of Boys & Girls Clubs makes an investment in Clubs a win for Maryland legislators and a win for Maryland families,” said Burch.
For further details on these survey results, visit: https://www.bgcmaryland.org/invest-in-maryland-by-investing-in-kids
ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF MARYLAND:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Maryland (BGCMD) is a relentless champion for youth across the entire state, doing whatever it takes to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Local Boys & Girls Clubs across Maryland play a critical role in meeting the needs of youth and families in their communities at more than seventy locations in thirteen counties, with plans to expand the footprint and reach more than 45,000 youth in all 23 counties. Consisting of nine independent organizations, BGCMD exists to unite and strengthen the efforts of individual Boys & Girls Clubs in the State by enhancing the shared brand, facilitating collaboration, securing large-scale financial support, and identifying ways to serve more young people in Maryland. Learn more and get involved at www.bgcmaryland.org.