Founded in 1970, the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City is approaching its fiftieth year of making positive differences in the lives of the youth of Atlantic City.
In 1973, we received our designation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and opened as a recreational center for boys, focused on basketball and boxing.
In 2001, we renovated our facilities to include a full basketball court, administrative offices, a library, two classrooms, and multipurpose space for programming. This facility enabled us to offer a wide variety of sports and recreational programs, as well as providing space for special events.
In 2017, the City of Atlantic City granted a 30-year lease for the Mayor James Usry building located at 1010 Drexel Avenue, which is directly behind our facility at 317 North Pennsylvania Avenue. Access to this facility enabled us to transfer our younger Club members to a space already equipped and designed for pre-school and elementary-aged children. The Pennsylvania facility was transformed into the state-of-the-art Center for Youth Economic Development and College Readiness, where middle and high school youth participate in specialized career development programs in culinary, STEAM, healthcare, and environmental industries.
The Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City is for All
The new Center enabled us to expand our program hours and capacity for teens, so that teens have access to programs afternoons and evenings Monday through Friday. Prior to opening, younger children were served directly after school while teens could not attend until 6:00 p.m., with the result of decreasing teen participation and increasing vulnerability to high-risk activities immediately after school until the Club opened for them. The new facility offered space for 100 additional youth per day and 400 new members annually, as well as provided programs starting directly after school, so that teens now have a safe haven where they can enjoy activities, learn new skills, and decrease exposure to at-risk situations.
By the beginning of 2020, we were serving 1,300 Atlantic City youth at three facilities. With multiple programs offered through five core areas, youth have opportunities to enjoy recreational activities, develop positive character and leadership skills, pursue creative activities, learn healthy habits and essential skills, and participate in educational support and career development opportunities.
Our continuous program expansion reflects our understanding of the community’s needs and demonstrates our capabilities to implement envisioned opportunities in response to new challenges. We focus on closing the academic, social, and emotional achievement gaps for students of the Atlantic City area. Simply put, the BGCAC’s impact is transformative to launching greater futures for the next generation.
Today, along with communities worldwide, we face new challenges as the world collectively learns how to respond to the significant health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Atlantic City residents, already struggling with poverty, unemployment, and low educational levels, will need substantial support to recover and move forward with confidence into this new future. The Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City is uniquely positioned tooffer this support: We already have in place the facilities, programs, and services for education and workforce programs for our young people. We plan to expand our services to embrace a two-generational approach so that we can also offer vital education, training, and career services to our Club members’ families.
The Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City
- Serves as a safehaven for children after-school and during the summer months
- Creates an environment for youth to learn and grow, from ages 6 to 18
- Enables families to work, ensuring children cared for, while receiving education and cultural enrichment
- Fosters ongoing relationships with professional role models
- Provides life-enhancing programs and character development experiences for children everyday
- Creates opportunities for young people to explore new careers, industries, cultures and ideas
- Stimulates the imaginations of the next generation
- Provides hope for families across the Atlantic County region