Embracing the Boys and Girls Club with Open Arms

May 21, 2024

Youth in White Pine County have lots more to do now that the Boys and Girls Club has started offering programs and activities in the area.

Michael Couch, a technician at Spring Valley Wind, joined the newly formed Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club earlier this year. He also serves as vice president of the local Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m a father of two kids and for a long time, child care was always a big need in this area. When the Boys and Girls Club came in, they opened up facilities at almost every school here and our community really needed that. There’s not much to do out here, especially for younger kids, so they really helped fill up this void,” Michael explains.

A Long History of Empowering Kids

The Boys and Girls Club of America has been providing programs for youth across the country for the past 160 years.

“Whatever It Takes: This is our mantra, our promise, as we help kids become their best selves on their paths to great future,” the Boys and Girls Club of America explains on their website. The group’s service mission includes providing safe spaces where you th can spend time, supporting and fostering mentorships, addressing mental health needs, job readiness, and more. 

Programming is provided after school, during school breaks, and over the summer. Some of the programs include homework help, money management classes, life skills classes, sports, fine arts, drama, and more.

“The activities are great, but the socialization aspect, especially when you live in a rural area like this one, is extremely important, particularly when it comes to youth mental health,” Michael says. 

In White Pine County, the Boys and Girls Club has organized a youth football league, corn hole tournaments, field trips, after school trips to the parks, and other outdoor activities.

A Positive Response

“The community welcomed the Boys and Girls Club with open arms. Every time the Boys and Girls Club has requested funding from the city, local businesses, or individuals, everybody steps up and does what they need to,” Michael says.

Recently, the Club has opened an Early Learning Center for kids under five years old. 

“They had to raise about a million dollars for this project and they got it within months of asking the community. They also received funding from the state and other organizations. The community just loves it,” he says.

Michael is proud that Pattern Energy has also been contributing to the Club and the local community.

“Pattern sponsors nearly every event in the community. You see the Pattern and Spring Valley Wind logos on nearly every poster. A big fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club is the Art and Wine Walk, which is a big auction, and Pattern is one of the main sponsors of it every year,” Michael says.

Looking Ahead to the Future

While the Boys and Girls Club is still new to White Pine County, Michael is excited to see them do more amazing work in the community in the years to come. 

“My hope is to see the Boys and Girls Club here have continued success. They’ve done everything so well. I want to do everything and anything I can to see that they succeed.”