Empowering Youth to Make Positive Life Decisions

Through education and encouragement, Boys & Girls Clubs Health & Wellness programs empower youth to make positive choices throughout life.

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Boys & Girls Clubs’ Health & Wellness programs encourage youth to develop healthy habits as well as learn how to make positive choices and take personal responsibility for their actions. Our initiatives promote more than just physical wellbeing – they also focus on emotional wellbeing, including friendships, romantic attachments, family relationships, school and career success and mental health

Much of our programming draws from Social-Emotional Learning, which allows participants to develop self-management and interpersonal skills in the context of a safe, caring, well-managed and engaging environment

Geared toward adolescents ages 14-18, VOW to Succeed Healthy Relationships program uses Love Notes curriculum to help participants build positive relationship skills

The curriculum includes ten, 60-minute lessons with topics including self-awareness, expectations, respect, characteristics of smart relationships and communication skills. The program incorporates music, film, stories, drawing and sculpting and appeals to aspirations, rather than focusing on what teens should avoid. As a result, participants cultivate decision-making skills that help them maintain relationships and choose partners wisely.

The program, which is made possible by a partnership with the Center for Self-Sufficiency, serves about 300 teens per year and is currently offered at select Boys & Girls Clubs high school sites.

Through this program, United Way-trained group facilitators help teens learn about pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention. During each lesson, participants receive age-appropriate, medically accurate information. The lessons are followed by a survey at the end of the course to test the knowledge and skills gained by participants. The goal is to help teens understand the possible outcomes of sex before they engage in it – and in turn, avoid negative outcomes, such as unplanned pregnancy and STIs.

While Milwaukee still has some of the highest rates of STIs in the nation, programs like Making Proud Choices help give youth access to the knowledge and tools to help reduce unplanned teen pregnancies and STIs.

75%
of program participants surveyed demonstrated the intention to use birth control during their next sexual encounter.
72.5%
of program participants surveyed demonstrated the intention to avoid becoming pregnant.
69%
of program participants surveyed reported "I have never had sexual intercourse."

Through a partnership with Delta Dental, nearly 300 children have received much-needed direct care and oral health education. Participants brush their teeth at the Club once a day after the daily afterschool snack/meal. In addition, the program includes a monthly education component: The ABC’s of Good Oral Health.

Recently, Boys & Girls Clubs were treated to free dental care at Miller Park through a partnership with Brewers Community Foundation and TeamSmile. Assisted by volunteers from Delta Dental, TeamSmile performed check-ups, took x-rays and offered both restorative and preventative care and cleaning.

Club members were guided through the clinic’s stations and educated on the importance of healthy habits and good dental hygiene. Youth received goodie bags and had the opportunity to use iPads in the cleaning station waiting area. Approximately half of the attending Club members participated in Delta Dental’s year-round tooth brushing program.