TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation donated more than $150,000 to seven Boys & Girls Clubs of America this month to help the after-school programs continue character and leadership development among Cherokee youth.
“Boys & Girls Clubs provide a strong community support system within the Cherokee Nation, which is so important for our young people,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “These Boys & Girls Clubs ensure our youth have a safe place to go after school and are led by adult mentors who encourage a path of success to a high school diploma, college or vocational training. They set a positive example, something we hope kids in the program will also go forward and do one day.”
In the past five years, the Cherokee Nation has contributed more than $1.3 million to help the organizations with salaries, operation costs and materials.
“This money helps keep our programs running for hundreds of kids in Adair County,” said Corey Bunch, chief volunteer officer of the Adair County Boys & Girls Club. “Our primary goal is to provide safe and well-structured learning environments so our kids can participate in health and wellness activities, character and leadership development, and, most importantly, focus on education and career programs.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America is a first-rate youth organization based on national philanthropy reports.
The Boys & Girls Clubs in Adair County, Bartlesville, Chelsea, Cherokee County, Jay, Nowata and Sequoyah County have more than 10,000 students enrolled combined. Tahlequah’s enrollment of 5,000 participants is the largest in the state.