Dana Duran, director of the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, said the goal of the organization’s Skills for Success program is to create leaders in a competitive world.
“I think teaching them skills to be better people, to have good critical thinking and problem solving skills, that’s what I want to do through this program,” Duran said.
Last week, the program graduated 25 students in its second year. The Boys & Girls Club also learned last week that the program would be funded in part by a one-year, $15,000 grant from the El Pomar Foundation.
The money will supplement that of local businesses and other grants, Duran said.
The Boys & Girls Club was one of three local organizations to recently receive funding from El Pomar.
Love In the Name of Christ of the Yampa Valley and the Community Budget Center of Craig were also given $5,000 grants, according to a news release from El Pomar.
The money for Love INC and the CBC is being distributed from the organization’s Colorado Assistance Fund IV to help nonprofit groups that have been impacted by the economic downturn.
The local organization’s were recommended by the El Pomar’s Northwest Regional Council and are among 140 nonprofits in the state to receive money from the assistance fund.
Duran was unable to give specific cost numbers on Skills for Success, but she said the program’s cost varies on how many students participate.
Skills for Success involves high school students as young as sophomores being taught by local professionals on subjects including goal setting, budget management, and how to get or get fired from a job.
“We wanted to have some takeaways,” Duran said, noting students also develop resumes and finish the program with mock interviews with employers.
The latest class started in January and lasted nine weeks.
For completing each of the five program modules, students were given $20 in Craig Chamber of Commerce Spree Bucks, Duran said. Upon completion of the full course, the students were also entered into a raffle to win a computer, an iPad and two iPods, Duran said.
She said the program helps reach a different demographic than the Boys & Girls Club normally sees.
“Most of our high school students work for us, so we’re reaching out to those kids in high school we don’t normally see,” Duran said.
Duran said this spring was the first time the program had been run by the Boys & Girls Club. It had previously operated under the Moffat County Work and Life Skills Coalition under the name Earn While You Learn.
“The program had so much validity and purpose in it that some community members, some of those Work and Life Skills (Coalition) members tried hard to find funds to continue the program,” Duran said. “We decided this is an awesome program, these are teenagers, lets continue to run the program, so the Boys & Girls Club of Craig picked up the administration of the Work and Life Skills program with assistance from the (Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership), the (Craig) Chamber (of Commerce), and Susan Whinery.”
Duran said even with the new funding from El Pomar, there is still a gap in funding and the club will continue to accept contributions.
Duran said the Boys & Girls Club will start the program again in the fall, although specific details will not be announced until later. The club is seeking about 50 students for the next class.
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