Hear from a Parent

Hear from a Parent 

The Boys & Girls Club of Brockton (BGCB) is a second home to over 1,500 children and families annually. One of those families is the Seals, whose six-year-old son D'Marckus is a new member of the Club. 

"He's an only child and he has so much energy," explains D'Marckus' mom, Suyapa, on why she signed him for for Club. “I knew he needed a place that would help him to channel all of that energy productively.” 

D'Marckus became introduced to the Club through summer camp as a Salamander. BGCB Summer Camp provides a safe, positive environment where children can develop self-confidence and social skills, build lasting relationships with peers and counselors, work to improve their grasp of core academic disciplines, increase their level of physical fitness, and explore their creativity. D'Marckus initially struggled adjusting to the change, but Suyapa was truly impressed by the growth she witnessed in her son over the summer. 

"I didn't even know he could swim," she said after learning that it was one of his favorite activities during camp. "And I was so happy that his counselor spoke Spanish, and was able to help him with his English skills." 

Opportunities to learn and develop outside of the classroom are especially important for urban youth, and the summer months can be some of the most critical of their lives. BGCB's summer camp provides youth with the structure and activity level to not lose the academic momentum they gain during the school year. 

Once school started in September Suyapa enrolled D'Marckus in the Boy's & Girls Club of Brockton's 
after-school program. BGCB operates an "Open Door" program with its members, meaning that our 
members are welcome to come to the Club as many times as they want or need, whether that's once 
every few weeks or every day. An annual membership costs just $35 – compared to the more than $4,000 ($113.5/week) parents report paying annually on average. This solved the dual problem of D'Marckus being bored at home with no other kids to play with and Suyapa being a busy mom. 

"I’ve got so many things to do, but still need to find time to be a mom," she said. BGCB helps her not worry as much about what her son is up to after school. "He gets dropped off directly from school...and by the time he gets home he's all ready for bed." 

During the school year, the Club is open Monday through Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with our Teen Center remaining open until 8:00 p.m. A nutritious dinner is served each night for all members who wish to participate in our Kids Café healthy meals program. 

The Boys & Girls Club is a perfect place for a high-energy kid like D'Marckus, who gets to interact with other kids, finish his homework, play pool, dance, have dinner, and when he gets picked up by his mom 6:30 pm he's able to spend quality time with his family before bed. Besides D'Marckus' favorite activities, BGCB also offers specialty enrichment programs focused on education, the creative arts, recreation, and fitness  for both teens (13-18) and pre-teens (5-12). 
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