The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation grants $120K to Boys & Girls Clubs

Bob and Renee Parsons

Youth scholarship recipients of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and Metro Phoenix will benefit from a $120,000 grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

The grant will fund the start of a new, full-time position for a college access/success manager to support students, according to a press release describing how the person in the position will manage multiple scholarships available to club youths and offer support to scholarship recipients throughout their college career.

“Education plays a key role in shaping a person’s future,” said businessman Parsons in a prepared statement. “This collaborative position will help the Boys & Girls Clubs provide scholarship students with the structure and support they need to be successful in their pursuit of higher education.”

For the past few years, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, with numerous organizations and individuals, have provided scholarship funding for club members. Many scholarship recipients come from families living at or below the poverty level, and the majority of them are the first in their families to pursue higher education, the release said.

Students in these situations often lack the support system to help them navigate the college experience, noted the release, adding that too often scholarships go unused because the student is overwhelmed or does not know where to turn for help.

“Attending college or getting post-secondary training is one of the best ways for teens to break the cycle of familial poverty, but these students encounter challenges at home and at school that their counterparts may not face,” said Marcia Mintz, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix, in a prepared statement.

“Our students worked very hard in high school to graduate and earn a scholarship. Thanks to the grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, we will now be able to continue to support our scholarship students as they navigate the world of higher education.”

The success manager position will support nearly two dozen clubs across Phoenix and Greater Scottsdale, teaching scholarship recipients how to prepare for college, set up a bank account, manage financial aid and scholarship funds, and fulfill their academic scholarship requirements.

A view of Boys & Girls Club member sizing up a shot in basketball. (Submitted photo)

Since many of the youths in this program will be first-generation college students, the person in the success manager position will serve as their support system to answer questions and provide ongoing encouragement and reassurance as they work toward a degree, the release detailed.

“Having someone in their corner who can help navigate both the financial and academic challenges of college will give Boys & Girls Club youth a much greater chance at success,” said businesswoman Parsons in a prepared statement.

“The results will benefit not only the scholarship recipient but their entire family by helping first-generation and lower-income students accomplish lasting success.”

Longtime advocates for the Boys & Girls Club, the recent grant brings The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation’s total support across Metro Phoenix and Greater Scottsdale clubs to more than $9 million, including many Youth of the Year scholarships.

“Teens like Kyla Silas, our 2017 Youth of the Year and first-generation college student, often feel like their dreams are not possible as they begin to explore the cost of higher education,” said Robyn Julien, CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, in a prepared statement.

“Because of the support from donors like the Parsons, and with guidance through the scholarship funding process, our youth realize that they are capable of achieving their dreams, even with all the changes and added responsibilities that go along with attending college.”

Research has shown that the more time youth spend at a Boys & Girls Club, the more connection they feel to school and the greater their post-secondary aspirations become.

Thousands of youth walk through the door of a Boys & Girls Club every day, where they are prepared to become 21st-Century Leaders, Globally Competitive Graduates, Innovative Dream-Makers and Healthy Game Changers.

Visit: bgca.org.

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale girls meet with local female mentors for Girls Night Out. (Submitted Photo)

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