Please Excuse the Dust… Our Website is Being Revised

Everyone at the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena apologizes for the condition of our web site. If you have any immediate questions, you can always call our Administrative offices at (626) 449-9100 or email us at info@bgcpasadena.org.

If you would like to make a donation to support the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena you can do so by clicking here or calling (626) 449-9100 ext 215. You can also use this link to make rental payments.

If you are looking for the 2018-2019 Membership Application, you can download the application by clicking here.
> The 2018-2019 Financial Aid Application is available here.
> The 2018-2019 Transportation is available here.

Are your kids ready for Summer Camp? You can download the Summer Camp Application by clicking here. If you have any questions, please call JD Lovrensky at (626) 660-4492.

Do you want to volunteer at the Club? Email Michael Fenn at michael.fenn@bgcpasadena.org or call (626) 449-9100 for more information.

If you are interested in the 10th Annual Black Tie & Burgers, scheduled for Saturday, October 6, 2018, you can call Hillary Schenk at (626) 449-9100 ext 215 or download sponsorship and auction information forms.

Boys & Girls Club Lends Love, Training to Shelter Dogs – Pasadena Outlook

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The Club was featured in front-page article this week in the Pasadena Outlook.  You can read the incredible story about our partnership with the K9 Youth Alliance here or read it from the paper here.

By Camila Castellanos, The Outlook
Thursday, May 17, 2018

After 80 years of delivering tried-and-true programs to local youth, the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena has recently hit another home run program for its members, one that is particularly hard to resist: helping shelter dogs.

The collaboration with the K9 Youth Alliance non­profit is “kids helping dogs helping kids,” a program to connect teens with furry friends from Los Angeles Animal Services. They establish a working, loving relationship with shelter dogs through an intense, three­week vocational training program.
With thousands of dogs euthanized in shelters annually, and children in equal numbers willing to lend their hearts and hard work, the pairing offers an innovative solution.

“This really allows them to explore their love for animals in a safe and positive environment, and at the same time gives the dog a chance to get out of that shelter environment and learn behaviors that will make it more adoptable,” said Brian Davis, Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena Executive Director/CEO, himself an avid dog lover “As dog lovers, we know what we learn from loving our dogs, so we know what these teenagers can also learn from these invaluable skills.”

Each teen is paired with a dog and an adult volunteer, and together they help train the shelter dog – often bereft of any training whatsoever – to understand a variety of commands. The program culminates in a graduation ceremony where the teen trainers lead the dogs through an obstacle course in front of friends and family and then give a speech about what they’ve learned.

“Our goal is to make sure we’re helping as many kids and as many dogs as possible,” said Karen Rosen, K9YA co-founder and advisory board member. “This is about supporting the students and their self-discovery and what they learn through the interactions with the animal. It’s emotional, contextual learning ­ it’s a much better way to learn something than have it being told to you.”

The K9YA program is offered to six to eight teens every semester through an application and interview process. The students commit to attending two-hour sessions every day for three weeks at the Boys & Girls Club facility, working one-on-one with the encouragement of a dedicated team of K9YA coordinators. The K9YA nonprofit, begun in 2013, uses a rewards-based, force-free dog training as a model for promoting self­discovery and nonviolence. The program enriches the lives of the dogs they work with by providing socialization, teaching basic behaviors and developing trusting relationships. The dogs, meanwhile, enrich the lives of the teens they work with by helping them develop patience, empathy, initiative and positivity.

Rosen helped develop the local nonprofit after hearing about K9 Connections, a similar statewide nonprofit that helps connect foster youth and teens at continuation high schools with shelter dogs. Pasadena’s eager community of dog­loving volunteers was the perfect place for the concept, Rosen noted.

With so many animal-loving children at public schools, why not connect them for free with affection-desperate shelter dogs?

“It wasn’t the hardest sales pitch I’d ever heard – we’re all dog lovers,” said Davis, whose German shepherd happened to be waiting for him in his office at a recent Friday K9YA graduation.
After 2½ years at the Boys & Girls Club, Davis has focused on attracting more teenagers to the afterschool program, which currently serves about 400 students per day between the club’s two locations. The program has been a big hit, with teens telling classmates about it and coming back with friends.

“That means these are teens who are coming every day, doing their homework here, checking in vvith our staff and reconnecting with their mentors,” Davis said, adding that the Boys & Girls Club model works effectively with teenagers in promoting high school readiness, healthy lifestyles, good habits and good choices.

He noted that because the club tends to serve a largely low-income population, with about 80% of members coming from a low­income household, it often means the teens in the program might not have the means to have a pet at home, especially if they rent, live in an apartment or live with extended family.

“A lot of our members have living situations that don’t allow them to have pets, even though they love animals,” Davis noted. “This is a way for them to learn a lot of the great values of having a pet and also teaches them the responsibilities and to recognize the needs of the animal.”

As part of the program, the team goes to the shelter together to see how the dogs live in the small kennels, and some of the students opt to enter the cages and close the gate. It helps teach the kids empathy to understand their dogs, Rosen said, especially some of the problematic behaviors such as neurosis and barking.

“We’re teaching the next generation of responsible pet care givers,” said Rosen, adding the shelter is an eye-opening experience for the kids, and shows them what happens to animals that can no longer be cared for by the owner.

At the most recent K9YA graduation ceremony, parents and family eagerly filled the bleachers of the Boys & Girls Club facility, cheering as each student confidently led his or her four-legged companion through a host of obstacles.

One Wilson middle school student, Zara, led a pug-mix named Honey Badger through the course. Just a few days earlier, her original shelter dog partner, a challenging black border collie named Andrea, had been adopted by a “forever” home. (That was against some tough odds, Rosen interjected, noting that Andrea the dog was a hyper, ADHD barker at first.)

It was hard on Zara to adjust, she had to admit, but that is also the bittersweet goal of the program: to place the shelter dogs in permanent homes.

“I did cry a bit when she got adopted – it was hard; I was gonna miss her,” she said. “But you know, I realized it was because of me and our work together that she got adopted. I did that.”

Zara, who is a budding young musician, sang a touching song to Andrea as part of her farewell speech to the crowd: “Andrea is beautiful, couldn’t love her more. She’s 7 years old, couldn’t let her go….”

Meanwhile, Marshall High School freshman Tony was preparing his dog, a special-needs mix named Jodie Foster. Because Jodie Foster is deaf, Tony said the training really helped him learn patience, and being creative when it came to getting her attention.

“I really learned to be patient, and not rush things. I have to be more active with Jodie, since she can’t hear. I have to get her attention in other ways,” said Tony, who hopes to become a dog-rescuer in the future.

As part of the program, the K9YA brings in all kinds of animal behavioral specialists who talk to the kids about possible careers in working with animals, including grooming specialists, canine trainers, veterinarians or vet assistants, and animal shelter volunteers.

The one-to-one time with an adult volunteer – all animal lovers, and some long-time shelter volunteers – help teach the students how to incorporate a love for animals in everyday life.

Andy Corrigan, K9YA board member and volunteer, noted how impressed she was with Tony’s patience and perseverance in training a special-needs dog like Jodie Foster.

“Tony really did train her – she had never had any proper training before. Getting to see Tony able to focus, to see his interest grow and their attachment to grow … to see that relationship grow is incredibly special,” Corrigan said.

The K9YA is a volunteer-heavy organization and is always looking for dedicated volunteers. To learn more about the programs it offers, contact the team at K9YouthAlliance@gmail.com or call (424) 272-5992. For more information on the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena, visit bgcpasadena.org.

It’s Time for Summer Camp!

Camp Flyer

It’s time spend a week in great outdoors! Submit a Pre-Application and deposit today to reserve your campers’ space. There are a limited number of spots at Summer Camp. Click here for the Pre-Application.

See the K9YA Graduating Class on Friday!

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Come celebrate the success of six amazing teens and their lovable — and adoptable — dog partners.

Our partnership with K9 Youth Alliance is one of the most popular programs for teens at the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena. Teenagers spend three weeks working with dogs from L.A. Animal Services shelters, training them in basic skills to make them (even more) adoptable. The dogs teach our members patience, perseverance, and problem solving. Teens also get an introduction to the myriad careers working with and for animals. The graduation ceremony allows them to show all of us the behaviors and skills they’ve worked on during the program.

The Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena was the inaugural partner with the K9 Youth Alliance.  The program started in 2016 and two dozen teenagers from the Club and as many dogs have participated.  The Pasadena Star-News covered our first K9YA graduation in April 2016.

Girls Scouts Spruce Up the Learning Center!

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The Mackenzie-Scott Branch got a bit of a makeover this month as a group of Girl Scouts renovated the Learning Center Library.  The girls of Troop 1751 started the project in December and unveiled it during National Boys & Girls Club Week in April!  This project will provide our members with an inviting environment to promote reading.

The project wasn’t just a paint job — but it was one amazing paint job!  The Girl Scouts furnished the library with great new furniture and, more importantly, new books!  They fixed the walls, purchased a rug, brought in a brand new sofa, assembled special “reading benches” and built new bookcases.  The project was topped off with a new privacy curtain so reading isn’t interrupted by other activities in the learning center.

The project was funded with a grant from the Pasadena Education Foundation and proceeds from Girl Scout Cookie sales!  Thank you to everyone involved.

5 Reasons to Encourage Girls’ Interest in Computer Science & Other STEM Subjects

The world is changing, and kids and teens need critical skills to compete in the global economy. At Boys & Girls Clubs, we believe all kids should have an opportunity for a great future. That’s why we’re providing access to programs and activities that spark their interest and expands their skills. With girls accounting for more than half of our membership, we have an even greater responsibility to advance gender parity, especially in Computer Science (CS) and other science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related fields. Here are 5 reasons to join us in encouraging girls to explore CS and STEM:

  1. CS/STEM jobs are growing rapidly and will continue to grow.  As of 2018, STEM jobs have already grown twice as fast as other occupations. By 2020, there will be 9.2 million jobs in STEM-related fields and according to Code.org, Computing occupations make up ⅔ of all projected new jobs in STEM fields.  It is not a matter of if girls will need these skills, but rather how prepared will they be to compete for job opportunities.
  2. It promotes gender parity in CS/STEM fields.  The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women make up 58 percent of the U.S. workforce, but only 25 percent of the computing workforce. Providing girls access to fun project-based learning experiences that promote trial and error, such as in after school programs like the Boys & Girls Clubs, is one of the best ways to spark girls’ interest, set them on the track to exploring careers in computer science, and increase the number of women pursuing jobs in the industry.
  3. Girls lose interest in CS/STEM related subject before they realize their potential.  We know that girls are passionate about making a difference in the world and see raising awareness or money for a cause as the primary ways they can help. In 2013, only 14.5 percent of female high school students expressed an interest in STEM fields, as compared to 39.6 percent of male high school students[1]. Helping girls make the connection between how technology supports solving some of the world’s greatest challenges can aid with igniting their interest. Computer Science is what people study to learn how to make or create technology.   
  4. The skills learned through Computer Science concepts extends to other subjects and future careers.  Studying Computer Science provides young people a better understanding of computational thinking and gives them critical thinking and problem-solving skills used in non-technology areas as well. Knowing how to approach complex problems, break down the challenges into small pieces and approach resolving them in a logical manner is the kind of thing that writers, designers, lawyers, and builders do all the time.  So, having computer science/STEM skills help kids and teens do better at any subject or any job.
  5. The Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena offers computer science programming through partnership with Microsoft.  Boys & Girls Clubs provide a safe place for trial and error without the pressures of tests or grades. Research shows that out-of-school programs, like those offered at Boys & Girls Clubs, are effective in stimulating youth interest in STEM-related careers and sixty-five percent of parents agree that afterschool programs can help children gain interest and skills related to STEM. The CS Pathway, supported by Microsoft, engages members on a journey to learn computer science based on their interests over time. CS is a blend of all the STEM categories because it involves science, technology, engineering, and math.

We’re excited about the future of our Club members and by empowering girls to become the next generation of STEM leaders, we are destined to see transformational impact on our world. Join us in celebrating girls’ interest in computer science. CS Pathway Photo 1

[1] Where are the STEM Students? What are their Career Interests? Where are the STEM Jobs?,
https://www.dailyherald.com/assets/PDF/DA127758822.pdf (accessed February 17, 2018)

Our New Computer Science Education Program Prepares Youth for Post-Secondary Education and 21st Century Careers

CS Pathway program, in partnership with Microsoft Philanthropies, designed for youth, especially girls and youth from minority communities, to learn vital computer science skills

The Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena is helping area youth learn critical thinking, problem-solving, and coding through the new Computer Science (CS) Pathway program, thanks to a $5 million partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Microsoft Philanthropies. Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Microsoft developed the CS Pathway to prepare the next generation of students with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. The program puts a special emphasis on helping a larger number of underserved youth, specifically girls and youth from minority communities, learn and apply computer science skills throughout their education so that they will be prepared to succeed in an increasingly technology driven economy. The pathway structure empowers young people to find programs that best meet their needs. For Club members who already have some coding proficiency, the CS Pathway provides additional options to take them further and build on that interest. The Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena and 30 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country will offer four levels of fun and engaging CS curriculum. Pathway delivery and acquired skills build on one another to encourage members to develop passion and proficiencies in coding, over time and at any level.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there will be one million unfilled jobs for computer scientists and programmers by 2020, yet many children today still lack access to the tools and resources they need to learn and love computer science,” said Brian J. Davis, Executive Director & CEO. “More specifically, when we look at the lack of women in the field, we know that we have a responsibility to do more to spark girls’ interest and empower them to explore computer science fields. Thanks to the CS Pathway program, we will be able to help our Club members interact with code and other computer science skills by channeling their personal interests and providing a long-term path to develop programming capabilities over time.”

“Jobs increasingly require critical and computational thinking skills, yet only 40% of high schools in the United States offer computer science,” said Mary Snapp, Corporate Vice President and head of Microsoft Philanthropies. “What’s even more unsettling is that women make up 58 percent of the U.S. workforce, but only 25 percent of the computing workforce. By implementing the Computer Science Pathway at Boys & Girls Clubs, we can reach more youth after-school and empower young people from all backgrounds, especially girls, to pursue a broad range of career opportunities, both in technology and otherwise.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of America serves nearly four million youth through Club membership and community outreach annually and partnered with Microsoft to ensure kids and teens have access to great future. The CS Pathway curriculum taps into engaging content like gaming and app development to introduce more underrepresented youth, of all ages, to computer science skills. The program is part of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s strategy aimed at ensuring all members graduate from high school on time, are ready for a post-secondary education, and a 21st-century career.

Members of the Slavik Branch begin the Computer Science Pathway Program this week.

Learn to Swim (or Swim Better) at the Boys & Girls Club

Did you know the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena has an indoor heated swimming pool at each location?  Did you know that the Club offers swimming lessons, swim team, and other swimming programs every day?  The Boys & Girls Club is the perfect place to learn to swim — or learning to swim better.

Our new Aquatics Coordinator at the Mackenzie-Scott Branch, Christine Lopez, just started this month and is ready to go with our Winter Swimming Schedule.  Ask Ms. Christine or Branch Director Mario Maytorena for more information.

M-S Aquatics Coordinator Christine Lopez

2018 ImageMakers Art Show & Reception

Densel M.'s photo called
 

ImageMakers is a year-round program that enables youth ages 6-18 to develop their creativity and cultural awareness through the appreciation of photography. Members go on field trips to The Huntington Library, Downtown Los Angeles, Olvera Street, Downtown Pasadena to learn the art and science of photography through multiple categories: Culture and Tradition, Portraits, Nature and Surroundings, Fashion and Style, and Editing and Filter. Photographs are displayed at local and regional exhibits around the country.
This year’s event was hosted by the Pasadena History Museum giving our members the best opportunity to show case their work. The museum often partners with the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena by offering complimentary tours to our members.  Pasadena Museum of History is the only museum and research library dedicated solely to preserving and sharing the history, art, and culture of Pasadena and the west San Gabriel Valley. Since 1970, the Museum has been headquartered on the two-acre grounds of the Fenyes Estate, a Pasadena Cultural Landmark that is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

You can view the photos from all of this year’s winners online here.
Read the article from the Pasadena Star News about the Boys & Girls Club and the ImageMakers program online here.

It’s a theater takeover with the L.A. Dodgers!

Theater takeover with the Dodgers
This afternoon, a bus pulled up outside the Mackenzie-Scott Branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena. Children from northwest Pasadena filed out of the Club and onto the bus for a short ride to Burbank. When they arrived, they were greeted by Chris Taylor and Kyle Farmer of the Dodgers.  Each child received a special “Dodgers Love LA” t-shirt and Dodgers cap and then the real excitement began:  they were treated to a special screening of Paddington 2!

The staff of the Boys & Girls Club came back with a special surprise as well:  a $2,000 grant from the Dodgers to support the Mackenzie-Scott Branch in Northwest Pasadena.

Chris Taylor of the Dodgers
Chris Taylor and Kyle Farmer of the Dodgers
Thank you Fandango!

Alumni & Friends: Come Back to YOUR Club!

When was the last time you visited the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena? Did you know that this is our 80th Anniversary? Or that we have more than 2,000 members? Join your fellow alumni at the Alumni Breakfast on July 20, 2017. The breakfast is a free opportunity to connect with your Club and […]

Learn More »

Alumni & Friends: Come Back to YOUR Club!

When was the last time you visited the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena? Did you know that this is our 80th Anniversary? Or that we have more than 2,000 members? Join your fellow alumni at the Alumni Breakfast on July 20, 2017. The breakfast is a free opportunity to connect with your Club and […]

Learn More »