ROCK SPRINGS — The Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Wyoming received a $46,000 grant from United Way of Southwest Wyoming under its education initiative.

Under the education initiative, the aim is to build and participate in collaborations that will affect a measurable increase in kindergarten readiness, third-grade reading scores, and high school graduation rates.

The partnership between the club and United Way began in 2009 when a community impact study was conducted. They found that the community needed after-school programming, and the efforts to begin the BGC of Sweetwater County began. United Way was an instrumental part of starting the club, and these two organizations continue to work together to invest in the community’s youth.

Last summer, the club members read for a total of 55,750 minutes. Members have access to the Learning Center, where they can participate in educational programming as well as receive homework help throughout the school year. This spring, a graduating teen member, Julaire Doak, was awarded the Great Futures Gold Standard Award Scholarship. This scholarship will pay for tuition and fees at the University of Wyoming, helping her achieve her goal of becoming an orthodontist.

The BGC of Sweetwater County sees anywhere between 20 to 45 teens a day. Throughout the summer, the teen members build community service hours, learn about their community, and continue to participate in college and career exploration. This will give them the tools to graduate and continue on to higher education.

“We are grateful that the United Way of Southwest Wyoming has played an important role in our beginning as well as continued to support the services we offer to community youth,” BGC of Sweetwater County CEO Lisa Stewart said. “This summer has been as busy as ever, with 210 youth signed up for the summer program. We continue to grow every year and are thankful for the United Way of Southwest Wyoming, local businesses, organizations, and individuals who support our Club’s growth.”

To learn more about the club, go to www.bgcsweetwater.com. For information about how to donate, email bgcofsw@gmail.com.

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