California teen earns $30,000 college scholarship and $30,000 to support local Boys & Girls Club
ATLANTA, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With nearly 25,000 online votes, JCPenney Facebook fans voted Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) their favorite youth charity for providing afterschool programs that inspire children to "Be Great." As a result, BGCA was awarded a $250,000 grant by JCPenney's signature charity, JCPenney Afterschool. BGCA was one of four national afterschool organizations competing for a portion of a $1 million giveaway organized by JCPenney in celebration of the company's $100 million milestone of afterschool support nationwide. The company launched a JCPcares Facebook campaign last month inviting fans to decide who and which organizations will receive the next million dollars in scholarships and grants.
Through two online voting initiatives, the campaign also sought to recognize youth volunteers across the country by allocating $500,000 in scholarships and grants. California teen Taylor P., a seven-year member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme, was among the top three finalists competing for a scholarship and a matching grant for her favorite charity. Penny was selected as the second place finisher earning a $30,000 college scholarship and a matching grant of $30,000 for her favorite charity, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme.
A dedicated Club volunteer since age 11, Taylor has found ways to continuously give back to her community – including serving as a mentor and math tutor for an eight-year-old autistic child. From creating a cheerleading camp for girls ages 6-12 to becoming president of her Club's community service group, Taylor volunteers more than 500 hours per year and has recently received the Presidential Service Award from her Boys & Girls Club. In her winning essay, Taylor affirms, "It's important to me to find ways to give back to my community because of all that has been given to my family and me in our time of need."
The announcement of Taylor's honor will coincide with local Boys & Girls Clubs Lights On Afterschool events, a nationally recognized day that generates awareness for the importance of afterschool programs in every community.
"Our $100 million milestone is significant because it represents the afterschool opportunities we made possible in every JCPenney community over the past decade," said Mike Theilmann, group executive vice president for JCPenney and chairman of the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. "It is only fitting that we use this occasion to celebrate and recognize our community champions, including our afterschool partners whose programs inspire kids to be smart, strong and socially responsible."
Since 1999, JCPenney has continued a long-standing relationship with BGCA in working to provide young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, with access to safe, positive afterschool environments and proven programs. JCPenney has donated some $30 million to help bring high quality afterschool programs to those youth who need it most. Together, JCPenney and BGCA are having a significant and positive impact on young people and families across the nation. While much work remains to be done to address the growing needs of America's youth who have no place to go after school, this long-term partnership is a powerful model for ensuring that great futures begin at Boys & Girls Club.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) has enabled young people, especially those who need Clubs most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve more than 4.2 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs can be found throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing young people 6-18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Key programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family outreach. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.
About JCPenney's Commitment to Afterschool
As a leading corporate advocate for the afterschool issue, JCPenney works with afterschool organizations to increase the accessibility and affordability of afterschool programs across the country. Through its legacy of supporting youth and charitable organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Y, National 4-H, United Way and FIRST, JCPenney formalized its commitment to the afterschool issue by establishing the JCPenney Afterschool Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Over the last decade, more than $100 million has been distributed to afterschool programs across every JCPenney community thereby making it possible for more children to participate in life-enriching programs that inspire them to be smart, strong and socially responsible. For more information, visit www.jcpenneyafterschool.org.
SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America