Founded in 2000, the Augusta Boys & Girls Club for Teens works to inspire and enable today’s youth to realize their full potential to become healthy, responsible, productive, and thoughtful citizens in their community. The club supports teens who are considered at-risk and often face challenges at home that may hinder their access to food, shelter, and security.
It is the belief and Mission of the Augusta Boys & Girls Club that all children deserve a mentor; a safe place to live, play, and grow; an appropriate and marketable education; and opportunities to be part of the community. Together, the Club, the community, and donors can help to provide local teens with a positive and safe place to focus on schoolwork, build their relationships, develop mentors, and acquire new skills.
In a recent WGAN Interview, Danny spoke with Charlie Huerth of the Augusta Boys & Girls Club and Joe Christopher, owner of Three Rivers Whitewater Rafting who recently became involved with the Club through a river clean up on The Kennebec River.
Joe considers himself to have been an at-risk youth as he often ran into trouble as a kid. It was the guidance of mentors and employers in those impressionable years that helped change his path and turn passion into productivity. In his own words, “I went from being a punk to being a punk with goals”. At age 25, Joe opened Three Rivers Rafting and has since grown from being the sole employee to employing nearly 130.
Both Joe & Charlie agree that mentors are integral for at-risk teens. Mentors can help get them to a place in which they realize their self-worth and goals seem attainable. Without proper mentors, kids fall behind in learning basic life skills. The lack of these standards skills is a hindrance and prevent teens from becoming more self-sufficient and exploring their passions.
The recent river cleanup was a collaboration between Three Rivers Whitewater & The Augusta Boys & Girls Club. The outing was an opportunity to show these kids that their actions matter, and that they have the power to make a difference in their community.
Inspiring self-worth is the catalyst that can convert these teens to a path of productivity and success. This river cleanup allowed its participants to take pride in themselves & their community. Instilling the confidence in these teens that they have the power to make a difference is invaluable. Charlie and Joe plan to continue these cleanups and build their partnership.
Joe remarked in the interview how shocking it is to know that we have 15-year-old homeless children in our Capital city. These issues are incredibly close to home and present an integral need to create a change. Those with means have an incredible amount of power to positively influence the lives of these children. The smallest gesture can make a difference. Organizations such as the Augusta Boys & Girls Club are small on dependent on volunteers and public donations. These programs don’t have the resources to transform their community on their own and rely heavily on local contributions. Whether that help comes in the form of offering experiential learning, general donations and funding, or even just helping these kids get from place to place, anything can make a difference. There is always a need for people and programs to teach these kids life skills and offer beneficial experiences.
We must always keep in mind that the overarching goal is simply to inspire. Every person and every business has something to offer these children. The river cleanup gives kids self-worth and the knowledge that they can have a positive effect on their community. Guidance and experience gives teens tools and opportunities they may otherwise never have. Doing our part now can prevent problems and shape the future by setting these children up for success.
Augusta Boys & Girls Club 22 Armory Street, Augusta, ME 04330 We are open from 1:30pm – 5:00pm Tuesday – Fridays