In an effort to continue momentum expanding access and resources to youth in southeastern Michigan, the City of Pontiac and Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) announced its partnership that will build on BGCSM’s thriving Reimagine Initiative, expand opportunities through the successful Pontiac Youth Recreation and Enrichment Center (PYREC), and provide Pontiac youth with Club memberships free of charge.
“Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan is excited to once again serve the amazing youth and families of Pontiac! We can’t thank Mayor Deirdre Waterman and the people of Pontiac for inviting us to join them in their efforts to revitalize the City. Now more than ever, youth need a safe place to go which provide them with the activities and resources needed to become successful adults,” said Shawn H. Wilson, president & CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan. “We’re honored to be a part of the successful PYREC center’s growth model and look forward to contributing our whole family economic mobility focus.”
BGCSM will bring their best-in-class programs including Passport to Manhood, SMART Girls, Triple Play, Power Hour, Virtual Club, career exploration, and youth entrepreneur & small business start-up trainings to Pontiac youth ages 4 to 21 years old to the Pontiac Youth Enrichment Center.
“I am happy to welcome BGCSM back to Pontiac after their hiatus. So many of our citizens remember the days when Boys & Girls Clubs played an active role in the community,” said Mayor Deirdre Waterman, City of Pontiac. “Two years ago, our citizen passed the millage to open the youth center here in Pontiac which was a testament to how important it was to provide access to health and wellness activities as well as growth and enrichment programs to our youth. We’re proud to have BGCSM as a strategic partner and to have a Club location back in our city again.”
Community stakeholders, companies and nonprofit organizations joined forces with City of Pontiac and BGCSM to donate more than $350,000 to support program operations for the youth of Pontiac. Funders include United Way of Southeastern Michigan with $200,000, Williams International Education Fund with $150,000, and Pontiac entrepreneur Ed Bahoura donated $5,000 towards the effort.
“While we work with hundreds of organizations across the region, I am encouraged we are able to provide support for programs that have an immediate and long-lasting impact in the community,” said Tonya Adair, Chief Impact Officer, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan and City of Pontiac are proactively providing much-needed support for young people, as so many are concerned about the ongoing economic and cultural impact of the pandemic.”
Mayor Waterman’s ongoing effort to bring BGCSM back to the Pontiac community-generated two dozen letters of support from Oakland County PAL, Oakland University, AARP of Michigan, Welcome Missionary Baptist Church of Pontiac, Oakland County Treasurer, Andy Meisner and City of Madison Heights Mayor Brian C. Hartwell.
The PYREC club will become the 11th BGCSM site location across southeastern Michigan. The partnership conducted a soft launch with Pontiac youth over the summer with access to the BGCSM Virtual Club.
PYREC powered by BGCSM will officially reopen its doors on September 8, 2020. All Clubs will offer a full day (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) of fun virtual and on-site activities and guided learning to support parents with youth’s virtual school experience and minimize the learning loss that may
have occurred during school closures.