Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias celebrate milestone for members graduating from middle and high school
VISALIA – As an educational enrichment program, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias takes pride in the part it plays in helping students reach their goals. That’s why on May 31, the Visalia Club hosted its first “Graduation for Más” celebration, to honor the accomplishments of Boys & Girls Club (GGC) members who are graduating from either middle school or high school.
The members and staff of Tulare, Visalia, Exeter, Strathmore, Ivanhoe, and Farmersville clubs decorated the Visalia gym to the theme “Dancing through the Decades.” Staff were dressed in vintage costumes—from 1950s poodle skirts to 1990s grungy flannels. The unit directors and administrators collaborated in order to provide a variety of activities for the teens and pre-teens. Inside the gym, there was a deejay, dancing, basketball, bowling, video games, raffles, and even an ’80s themed photo backdrop. Outside, there was an obstacle course, cornhole games, a bounce house, and a guest graffiti artist who spray painted a live piece. Staff and volunteers prepared food for the members, which was generously donated by Steve Smith. Members and staff cheered on their clubs during competitive games of musical chairs! There was even a surprise performance by Wildstyle Bushido break dancers, a melding of two different local b-boy crews.
The idea of a graduation celebration was initiated by the Taco Bell Foundation, which graciously awarded BGC of the Sequoias its Graduate for Más grant of $17,000 this year. Now, the Boys & Girls Clubs plan to host the Graduation for Más event annually. The foundation understands the importance of recognizing the effort that Club members put into their education, and their accomplishment of promotion or graduation.