Local Boys & Girls Club leaders champion America’s youth to Congress

Hundreds of Boys & Girls Club advocates from across the country virtually meet with members of Congress

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Plateau joined with hundreds of Boys & Girls Clubs from across the country for Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s first Virtual National Days of Advocacy earlier this month.

Club Operations Director, Vivian Weatherby, met with members of Congress to advocate for the critical needs of kids and teens in America and to show the unique role Clubs serve in their communities.

“Clubs like ours have a unique role as community leaders in providing valuable afterschool programs to our country’s youth that enable them to achieve great futures,” said Weatherby. “We were honored to represent plateau youth, raise visibility of the needs of our community, and show what we can accomplish with the support of our elected officials and our community.”

In virtual meetings with the offices of Rep. Madison Cawthorn, Sen. Richard Burr, and Sen. Thom Tillis, Weatherby requested funding for the Youth Mentoring Grant; mentors at Boys & Girls Clubs offer youth guidance, support, and much-needed encouragement during critical times, and these funds would be used to help foster social-emotional wellness and soft skill development.

Other key issues discussed involved mental health, specifically among teens, workforce readiness, and access to technology. This event allows BGC leaders, members, volunteer leadership, and alumni to meet with members of Congress and key staff to share their stories and discuss the critical issues currently facing youth and the inspirational ways Clubs are moving the needle for America’s young people.

As part of the event, BGC advocates are provided training, opportunities, and exposure designed to hone their advocacy expertise year-round.

Regarding future events, Weatherby said, “we hope to have members participate next year; our advocacy isn’t just a one-day event. We are raising our voices every single day to ensure top issues and solutions impacting young people are prioritized in our community, our state, and at the national level. We are also advocating for youth to speak and adults to listen.”

To learn more about Boys & Girls Club of the Plateau click HERE, or call 828.743.2775. To volunteer, contact Carmen Waite carmen@bgcplateau.org

Article and photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Plateau

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