Boys and Girls Club of America gives students opportunity for real-world experience

By Kanielys Lopez

Looking to volunteer for a meaningful organization? Boys & Girls Club of America is in search of people to help their students in different places. It can be tutoring or just simply being there for them when they need help. Helping these students whose parents are busy with work can be a rewarding experience.

Rebecca Cyganiewicz, the Leominster, MA coordinator, said, “Anyone over 16 years old can volunteer.” Knowing that people are willing to help others is a way to go. Volunteering for Boys & Girls Club is an opportunity for a character-building experience and can add to any resume.

To get involved, Cyganiewicz said, “We have an interview process and background checks for all of our applicants.” After the background check, the interview process takes place to make certain the candidate holds the necessary qualities to help young students. The organization wants to know why one wants to get involved and what they can give.

After an applicant is confirmed, Cyganiewicz said, “Our hours are after school between 2 and 6 p.m. for our 8-to-12-years-old, and our teens center is open until 7 p.m.” The hours are great for students who wouldn’t be available during early mornings or late nights. The flexibility is just another benefit, next to making a difference in a child’s life. Volunteering for Boys & Girls Club is an example of Fitchburg State students’ dedication to serving the Fitchburg and surrounding communities.  

There are multitudes of reasons people volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club. “Many are students pursuing practicum hours for classes, to engage and connect with the community or for professional experience, or for something to put their job applications,” Cyganiewicz said. The opportunity can be especially beneficial for those who are majoring in education, by using the Boys & Girls Club for their future internship.

Additionally, Boys & Girls Club puts on different events to make sure that the kids are always having fun and staying engaged. Cyganiewicz said, “We also have volunteers that help with special events and fundraisers such as our annual 5K race, Science Festival, First Lego League competition, art exhibit, and others.” So, it’s not just about homework or games, but about being there and helping out whenever possible.

A small time commitment can go a long way in making a difference in some of these children’s lives. Sacrificing some time to help kids is not sacrifice, but reward.

To learn more about Boys & Girls Club, contact Rebecca Cyganiewicz at RCyganiewicz@bgcfl.org or visit their website at  http://bgcfl.org/.

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