A group of board members from our new Boys & Girls Club of Carson Valley attended the Boys & Girls Club of America Regional Leadership Conference this week. There were hundreds of volunteer board members taking time and money from their lives to learn about how to build the future of our country by building the youth in our communities. There were sessions on fundraising and developing ways to attract youth to the "Positive Place for Kids" with proven programs and sessions on how to make more of an impact on each child.
But when the chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of America, the largest non-profit organization in the country for helping children spoke, she really got to us. Did you know that 50 percent of the youth in our country drop out of school? Did you know that keeping guns and drugs out of the hands of children is often the biggest challenge for those who work with children? That domestic and sexual violence and suicide rates are alarmingly high? Our children are raising children and many times without guidance, positive adult relationships or role models. Not just in big cities, here in Carson Valley. Where's the outrage?
The chief executive officer who spoke, works with the federal government and public education and the youth statistics she sees daily are alarming and getting worse and she asked "Where's the outrage?" These children are the future of America. It is time to be passionate about saving, building, giving opportunity and challenge, finding the best in our youth. They have so much talent and energy and desire to be better, but without role models and a place to be safe from the risks drugs and violence, they have little chance to become what they could to reach their potential.
Your Boys & Girls Club of Carson Valley board members are passionate about saving and impacting our kids, your kids. Please join us in impacting the lives of our youth.
Many children think they have no value, that their only hope for acceptance is to look and act like the celebrities they see in movies and sports, the ones who die of overdoses and dress like hookers and gangsters. Our children need to have self-confidence, hope for their own futures, and pride in what they can do to build a better future for themselves and our country. We are losing the brightest and best, and America desperately needs the brains and values of this next generation. Help us save our country. We should be outraged and passionate enough to take our children back.
Call 882-8820 to help us. Carson Valley Boys & Girls Club of Carson Valley and Western Nevada has to become "the place to go" for our kids and we are just scratching the surface, just beginning to see what can be done here for our kids.
We need you, seniors, professionals, high school and college folks to volunteer, mentor, give time, money and/or your skills and experience to a young person. As businesses, churches, schools, service organizations, individuals, youth and sports groups, we, together, can give hope and a future to our youth and our country. Get outraged and then give back to your community by touching the life of a child.
n Janice Rice is a member of the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Carson Valley and a Minden resident.