September 1st 2022
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana is launching a month-long entrepreneurship program at our two Lafayette Clubs, thanks to the 24-Hour Citizen Project. One of our premier programs at the Boys & Girls Club is “Career Launch”. This program is designed club members to learn about leadership, finances, and the impact of businesses on communities. The 24Hour Citizen Project will engage and challenge twenty-two club members to create, build, market, and execute their plans to raise money for two local non-profits.
The week of October 24-28th the Clubs will launch their business selling lemonade with a combined goal to sell 1200 cups, for a profit of $1800. Over the last few weeks, the Clubs have surveyed and selected the youth who will be part of the program. The twenty-two youth, researched, reviewed, and selected two local non-profits to donate a portion of their proceeds. The non-profits identified are United Way and Acadiana Regional Coalition on Homelessness & Housing. Each Club presented a proposal including a budget, supplies, and marketing plan, to the administrative team. The next step of the project includes identifying speakers throughout the community to talk with the kids about how to run a successful business.
The clubs have partnered with individual business owners like Kelsey Sanders, owner and operator of Eat, Fuel, Flourish LLC, Corey McCoy, owner and operator of KOK Wings, Club Blue Young Professional, and Chase Bank to help the youth to design and build their lemonade stands, create their marketing materials to promote sales, and price and purchase the supplies. The week of lemonade sales the youth will invite the community to see the finished product and of course, purchase lemonade! The youth that are part of the program will get the opportunity to present the proceeds to their chosen non-profits, giving back to the community!
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana is a 501©3 non-profit organization that serves youth ages 6-18 after school and during the summer. For $50/year, youth are provided a safe place to have fun, receive a meal, and engage in programs in 3 impact areas, academic success, healthy lifestyles, and good character and leadership. BGCA has 7 locations in 6 parishes (Lafayette(2), Iberia, Opelousas, Vermilion, Calcasieu, Natchitoches).
Thanks, Team Lemonade Stand
We have exciting news! We have selected our inaugural class of Creole Garsons and their mentors. And guess what? We have exceeded our goal of 10 garsons and now have 11! Wow! This summer, we hosted two virtual meetings with the boys where they were introduced to most of the mentors. During these meetings their mentors shared a little about themselves and their art disciplines. This year, we have 7 talented and wonderful professionals that are joining us as mentors. These individuals include a journalist, photographer, videographer, visual artist, music producer, creative designer, and dancer/youth mentor specialist!
This Saturday we will have our in person retreat from 10am – 3pm. At the retreat each of the mentors will present an interactive lesson in their area of expertise. The participants will then choose two disciplines to complete an apprenticeship under their mentors for the following months. From September to November, the garsons will meet with mentors 1 – 2x each month. We also plan to complete community service hours and a whole group arts-based field trip.
Our total budget was $3300. Our funds are from 24 Hour Citizen Project ($2500) and The Creole Nutcracker. With these funds we will pay our mentors as they are also operating as teaching artists and must be compensated for their sessions at the retreat as well as the monthly meet ups with their mentees. We are also supplying our garsons with t-shirts. We have recently expanded our budget to $4000 as we had more edits than anticipated for our logo and also have to account for the additional young man joining our program! Our current budget covers costumes for any garsons who may choose dance as their discipline. Their apprenticeship will consist of attending rehearsals and performing as a cast member of The 5th Anniversary Creole Nutcracker. We are also covering field trip expenses for our whole group trip to Studio Be in New Orleans. We hope to still come in under budget by the end of the program. We will work to be much closer to our original budget. Thankfully, Kelsey Sanders of Eat, Fuel, Fleurish has agreed to sponsor lunch for all of our mentors and mentees for our retreat. One of our goals is to convince more community leaders and business owners along the way to contribute their resources to our program and help us pour into the leaders of our future.
In the coming months, our goal is to document the boys’ experience, so that we can share these moments with you all! We also need confirmation from Studio Be for our requested dates. We truly believe in the power of exposure to the arts. We know when a child believes and knows who they are they can boldly go into the world ready and prepared. The arts have the power to do that and so much more.
Thanks for all of your support! Team Creole Garsons
Mad Thinkers are moving and grooving in our process of creating our interactive theatre workshop. We are currently in “scheduling mode,” meaning we are scheduling our writing sessions, and our first workshop with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
During 24 Hour Citizen Project, we met with Danielle Moroux. She is a previous recipient of 24HCP funding and has worked with children at New Hope for many years. We are working side by side with her to receive guidance and input to create a strong foundation for our program. She will assist both creatively and as an advisor.
Once we have our script written and ready, we will purchase sets, props, costumes and prepare to take our workshop on the road! We have a select group of instructors that will be trained and prepared to work with youth! We are on target to reach our goals and are excited to see the project come to life!
Our team would like to thank 24HCP and the community for the support we’ve received. We look forward to fulfilling our goals and serving the youth of Acadiana through our love of the arts!
Allison Brandon & The Mad Thinkers
As I mentioned during my prior Dear Community Letter, we were happy to announce that we successfully completed the GOT IT (Saturday School) program where we were able to provide a variety of educational programs to juniors and seniors. I also mentioned that we had remaining funds ($2,100) in the budget to spend on educational programs for the upcoming school year. To utilize the remaining funds, we’ve launched the “Building Literacy” program through The EdD Series. Details regarding the program are below:
The EdD Series Presents: Building Literacy
As an education non-profit, The EdD Series works with emerging organizations, schools, as well as stakeholders to improve the quality of education for minority students in low socioeconomic neighborhoods and schools. The EdD Series would like to work with J.W. Faulk Elementary School to promote student literacy and character development through the purchase of a children’s book for all students in grades Pre-K and Kindergarten. In addition to the purchase of the book, The EdD Series would like to involve prominent leaders in the Northside community to read the book(s) to each class as he/she encourages students to read.
The Objective: to increase literacy skills as well as students love for reading in grades Pre-K and Kindergarten.
The Plan: The EdD Series will provide all students in Kindergarten and Pre-K with a book to promote literacy skills as well as character development.
The Book: The following books have been chosen due to their content and reading level. Availability will determine which book(s) are chosen for purchase:
- All Are Welcome – Alexandra Penfold and Suzane Kaufman
- I am Human: A Book of Empathy – Susan Verde
- I Promise- Lebron James
The Cost: There will be no fee for the child nor the school. The book will be provided by The EdD Series to all students in grades Pre-K and Kindergarten
The Date and Time: We’re currently working out timelines, but will be determined soon by the principal at J.W. Faulk.
Thanks for your continued support, and we’ll continue to keep the community updated as things progress.
Dr. Brandi L. Clay