By: Erin Porteous, Chief Executive Officer
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver
This is a time of year for reflection on the progress we have made and an opportunity to look ahead with hope and determination. As we approach the end of 2023, I am filled with deep gratitude and excitement for this incredible year and all we have achieved. This has truly been a banner year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, made possible through the unwavering support of our dedicated donors, insightful Board of Directors, and exceptional staff.
Together, we have continued to fulfill our mission to provide our Club members with a safe, supportive, fun, and enriching environment that inspires and empowers them to achieve their greatest potential. Before the curtain falls on this wonderful year, I want to share a few highlights and celebrate the impact our collective efforts have made.
Expanding our Boundaries
This year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver had the honor of opening seven new Club sites for a total of 25 Clubs – the largest operational footprint ever for our organization. This historic growth allows us to connect with new communities and build lasting connections to support more of Denver’s kids and teens. Over the last school year and summer, we served more than 28,000 kids and teens, exceeding our goal by 22%. Every day, we invest in relationships and programs that can change lives. We are proud to do this for more Club members and their families each year!
DSST Elevate NE Boys & Girls Club
Josephine Hodgkins Boys & Girls Club
Sunset Ridge Boys & Girls Club
KIPP Sunshine Peak Boys & Girls Club
Tennyson Knolls Boys & Girls Club
U Prep Arapahoe Street Boys & Girls Club
U Prep Steele Street Boys & Girls Club
Beyond our expansion into new communities, I want to celebrate the high-quality programming we continue to provide for every Club member who walks through our doors. We are one of the most comprehensive youth development organizations in the region. Our holistic programs, focused on Academic Success, Character & Leadership, Healthy Lifestyles, and Mental Health, serve as a catalyst to equip the next generation with the tools they need to thrive. We innovate and create new programs to serve the ever growing and changing needs of our members. I am incredibly proud that our Clubs continue to be a safe place for kids and teens to grow, develop, and access enriching activities.
“The Club has taught me how to be consistent and persistent in life. I've been taught life skills, like how to become a leader, inspiring, and a mentor.” - Naja’Ray, Club member
Opportunities of a Lifetime
We know that our Club members are exceptional, so one of our goals is to open doors to experiences that will help them achieve their greatest potential. This year, our Club members participated in several events that could only happen at the Club.
In collaboration with the Renee Crown Wellness Institute at University of Colorado Boulder, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver members have contributed to the development of an age-appropriate, interactive Social Emotion Learning (SEL) tool called InsideU, which takes inspiration from Disney and Pixar’s "Inside Out." The voices and feedback of our members have been at the forefront of decision-making as the Crown Institute continues to develop new SEL lesson plans – showing our members that their voices and their mental health matter!
A Visit from Former Secretary of State
Dr. Condoleezza Rice visited our Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Clubs. The former Secretary of State hosted a round table for our local teen leaders, giving them an opportunity to learn more about her story and share their own. Dr. Rice discussed lessons learned in her many leadership roles, including Vice Chair of the Board of Governors for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Meeting a leader like Dr. Rice can help fuel our Club members’ big dreams!
Celebrating with the Champions
In honor of the Denver Nuggets’ historic run in the NBA Final, NBA Cares, Kroenke Sports Charities, and the Denver Nuggets came together to donate a new STEM lab to our Arthur E. Johnson Club at a once-in-a-lifetime event! Beyond the meaningful donation, Club members had the opportunity to connect with Denver Nuggets players and cheerleaders, participating in a basketball clinic, as well as STEM, art, and reading programs.
An Award-Winning Mental Health Team
This past May, our Mental Health Team was named the winner of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Trauma-Informed Practice Honor Award. This recognition honored the strength, innovation, and dedication of our team and our organizational investment in mental health programming and support.
Youth mental health is a top priority for Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. Each of our 25 Clubs has a mental health team member present to facilitate individual sessions and small social-emotional learning groups weekly. These programs help our Club members build habits and skills that support their long-term mental health. During our 2022 – 2023 program year:
None of these achievements would be possible without your support and belief in our mission. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to you, our community of supporters. Your dedication to Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver is truly the driving force behind our success.
This holiday season, let us remember that we are stronger together. When we join together, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As we look to the future and the years to come, I believe that we will achieve our vision of creating a world where all kids will have the opportunity to achieve their greatest potential.
I wish you and your families a warm and joyous holiday season, and I look forward to the infinite possibilities that await us in the new year. As we look to the new horizons ahead, I know one thing for sure – our future is bright!
“I feel like the Club has helped me be a better sister, a stronger student, a good friend, but most importantly - a good person.” - Oshalaya, Club member