Spring break is an annual rite of passage. It gives kids a breather and helps them prepare for the school year’s home stretch. My spring break was a little different this year, which only made it more special.
This Clubhouse is the pride of the neighborhood!
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico invited me attend the grand opening of its 11th Club. It was in a small city called Isabela. CEO Jose Campos and V.P. Eduardo Carrera went out of their way to ensure the ribbon-cutting ceremony was a joyful occasion for everyone, especially the youth of Isabela.
It was a fabulous day in all respects – particularly for the community that the amazing new Club will impact. The facility is a showpiece, for sure. But it’s also a symbol for the transformational experiences that await young people behind Club doors.
The staff and kids were incredibly welcoming.
Previously, Club staff and members met mainly at local schools. But the new three-story Clubhouse has plenty of space to conduct programs and activities. Its 44,000 square feet includes a learning center, a state-of-the-art computer center, art and dance studios, indoor basketball and volleyball courts, and a fully equipped gamesroom. In addition, one more Club will soon open in a subsidized housing development.
The Puerto Rico Club has grown tremendously since being founded 45 years ago. Today, there is an organization-wide focus on the Formula for Impact, outcomes and metrics. Enhancing the Club Experience to attract more young people and keep them coming back is also a priority. That devotion to services extends to the greater community, as well. Club leaders have initiated community conversations about how quality youth development can help all kids to have better lives.
Dignitaries at the ceremony included Puerto Rico first lady Lucé Vela and Mayor Carlos Delgado Altieri. Each praised the Club for providing critical support that strengthens the island’s young people, families and communities. Their recognition is important. Having committed, dedicated and strong supporters who understand the life-changing work we do is a societal factor in Puerto Rico.
During my trip, I was able to meet Governor Luis G. Fortuño to discuss Puerto Rico's young people.
Later that day, we met with Puerto Rico Gov. Luis G. Fortuño and local board members. We discussed how the Clubs can provide even greater impact and work together to advance the lives of youth on the island.
I won’t soon forget my visit to Isabela. My thanks and congratulations to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico for your tireless commitment to our youth!