The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley was awarded a $100,000 grant by Impact100 Sonoma on Thursday evening. Pictured here, Constance Grizzell, Impact100 Sonoma education focus area committee chair, Christine Dohrmann, Impact100 Sonoma co-president, Dave Pier, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley executive director, Patti England, Impact100 Sonoma grants chair, Annette Lomont, Impact100 Sonoma co-president
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley was awarded the first $100,000 grant by Impact100 Sonoma at its meeting on Thursday evening with the four other finalists receiving $2500 each towards their operating budgets.
Close to 100 women in the Impact100 giving circle gathered to hear each of the five finalists give their presentation. The women then voted by secret ballot and the grant recipient was announced to audience. BGCSV Executive Director, David Pier, was ecstatic over the announcement.
The BGCSV submitted a grant proposal in the education focus area. The proposal seeks to enable the club to dedicate a Teen Services Director as well as two program assistants to serve more than 250 Sonoma teens who are members of the club. The BGCSV has worked hard to build its offerings for older children and the program is gaining traction with more and more teens spending time at the club.
At the core of the program is a fledgling college-bound program for teens at the club. According to Pier, over the last ten years, 65 percent of Sonoma Valley High Schools graduates have not been eligible to apply to a four-year college. He and his team aim to change that and are modeling their program after another, already successful program elsewhere in the state.
“The results of this program are tangible in that we can see increased graduation rates, higher GPAs and SAT scores as well as successful college matriculation rates,” said Pier, who held up as an example SVHS 2010 graduate and BGCSV member Manuel Santoyo who was awarded a full four-year scholarship to Colgate University.
The new program is in collaboration with the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation’s Teacher Support Network program and the college and career center at the high school.
The finalists receiving the $2500 grants included the Sonoma Ecology Center, Social Advocates for Youth, The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and the WillMar Center for Bereaved Children.
Please check next week’s Sun for more information on all of the grant recipients.