A Legacy of Impact: Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco
In this week’s blog, Citywide Director of Education at Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco and recent Community Partner Co-Educator (CPCE) Fellow, Brian Sauer takes us into a world where a legacy of compassion and empowerment spans over a century. Come along as we unveil the remarkable journey of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco (BGCSF), where dedication to youth, families, and community has thrived for 130 years, creating a haven for growth, education, and transformation.
Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco (BGCSF) was established in 1891 and has been actively serving youth and families for over 130 years. Our Clubs are located in neighborhoods with the fewest resources for youth, and we are open when youth need us the most—after school, on most school holidays, and all day during the summer. In addition to our 14 traditional Clubhouses and School-Based Clubs in San Francisco, we also own and operate Camp Mendocino, a 2,000-acre residential summer camp that provides inspiring outdoor experiences. We impact the lives of Club members, primarily ages six to 18, by focusing on academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character and community engagement, and job readiness with earning potential.
BGCSF served over 5,500 youth in 266 days between August 2022 – August 2023. In order to provide an exceptional experience for BGCSF youth at this scale, our organization relies on the dedication of staff, volunteers, partner organizations, interns, board members and donors. Our Clubs are more than just an afterschool program. We are intentional about partnering with schools, families and surrounding communities to create spaces where kids are safe and have an opportunity to learn and grow. So it was exciting to have the opportunity to partner with the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service at USF through the Community Partner Co-Educator (CPCE) Fellowship. This opportunity has opened up internship opportunities for USF students to work with BGCSF youth and staff across the city. This fall, BGCSF will be hosting three USF interns from the School of Management to support our event planning for the organization and four from the Artist as Citizen class at the Columbia Park Clubhouse. USF Interns will be working alongside experienced BGCSF staff to help plan for both large organizational events, including the Youth of the Year celebration that happens every February and smaller monthly Club events like our cultural and family celebrations.
Our work at Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco is aligned with the Jesuit philosophy of Cura Personalis, caring for the development of the whole person. Youth that walk through our doors find a safe place where they can rely on relationships with caring adults to develop skills, find support, explore interests and realize success in our programs. Many that start in early elementary school stay connected through high school, college and beyond as alumni, with many returning to BGCSF as staff. At BGCSF we are excited to grow in partnership with USF’s Community Engaged Learning classes and the opportunities it will bring to better serve our youth.