Boys and Girls Club Comes To Baja Sur

BY R. LEE SCHULTZ

For many years, Gente Joven, one of Los Cabos’s more successful nonprofit organizations, has been very active in the Los Cabos community providing much-needed programs for the youth of the area. This organization has proven to be an unwavering source providing truly life-changing opportunities for scores of our youngsters. That success has not gone unnoticed. It caught the attention of the highly respected international charity, Boys & Girls Club International.  

As a result of their successful programs and outcomes, Gente Joven (GJC) has been asked to become the first-ever Boys & Girls Club for Baja California Sur (BGC). The Gente Joven por un Cambio programs will now move forward under the Boys and Girls Club umbrella with the added recognition and guidance of this 150-year-old respected, international organization. Onagh Ash, Founder and President of Gente Joven commented, “We are very excited about this partnership. This opportunity will enhance the core missions of Gente Joven as well as provide additional model programs from the Boys and Girls Club International for our youths of BCS.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with three women in Hartford, Connecticut. These women believed that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative opportunity, so they organized their first Club. With character development as the cornerstone of the experience, the Club focused on capturing boys’ interests, improving their behavior and increasing their personal expectations and goals. Hence, a cause was born.

Today, Boys & Girls Clubs provide a safe haven for more than 4 million youth, providing youngsters with an opportunity to enhance their own futures. They now serve youths in 19 countries. BGC opened its first club in Mexico more than eight years ago and has grown to eleven clubs operating in the cities of Monterrey, Tijuana, Mexico City along with other locations. Gente Joven will officially change its name to Boys and Girls Club, BCS in January 2020 and will be directed by the former CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of South Coast, BC, Sylvia Tremblay. Sylvia is now a resident of Cabo San Lucas and brings with her more than 40 years’ experience in a leadership role in the social service sector.

“Becoming a Boys & Girls Club is quite an honor and underscores an ongoing commitment to the youth of BCS.” noted Ms. Tremblay. She further noted that to keep administrative costs as low as possible, they will continue to operate from their existing facility in La Playita while growing programs under the Boys & Girls Club brand. One major objective will be working to expand the Club’s presence throughout BCS with an early focus to expand in Cabo, La Paz, Todos Santos and Loreto. 

This is an exciting time for the youth of BCS and an exciting time for Onagh Ash, Ms. Tremblay and all of those hard-working individuals who were there when Gente Joven Por Un Cambio was born. Now, with the help of Sylvia Tremblay and guidance from the Boys & Girls Club, the program will expand from a weekend-only program to a total after school program open to youth 7 days a week. They are currently reaching out to local communities to locate suitable locations throughout the Baja Sur that meet Boys and Girls Clubs’ exacting requirements. To aid in this expansion, fundraising efforts will continue locally, as well as move to an international stage. If you are interested in assisting with this ambitious and worthwhile project, you can contact Ms. Tremblay at sartremblay45@gmail.com