The San Bernardino City Council has voted unanimously to extend an opportunity for the local Boys and Girls Club to continue operating for the next 60 days under a new name while the organization explores options since the National Boys & Girls Club of America has suspended its charter.
Several members of the community, including School Board member Danny Tillman, attended the city council meeting and spoke in support of the Boys & Girls Club of San Bernardino (BGCSB). In the process, speakers highlighted the good work that is being done by the organization.
In February, BGCSB received notification from the Boys & Girls Club of America that its charter was being revoked for what it stated was BGCSB’s, “inability to maintain compliance with Boys & Girls Clubs of America membership requirements.”
The violations cited, included SBCBS’s failure to provide the required benefits to eligible employees; the untimely submission of annual audits, annual reports and certificates of liability insurance; and, the late payment of annual membership dues. In addition, the national organization subsequently alleged SBCBS was not completing staff background checks in alignment with the national organization’s background check policy. Although the checks were completed by Live Scan, the national organization did not concur with this approach.
In March 2018, BGCSB filed a letter of appeal with the Boys & Girls Club of America where it explained a history of challenges that had previously plagued the organization and outlined its progress since a change in leadership was implemented in 2008.
BGCSB’s current President/CEO, A. Majadi, took the helm of BGCSB near the end of fiscal year 2008. The previous Board of Directors reportedly left the club in an “extremely dire situation and on the brink of closure.” The appeal noted, “there was no board leadership activity, engagement or fundraising.” The appeal further stressed how the organization had no community partners and the community had lost all confidence in the organization and withdrawn its support. Since that time, Majadi has worked to mitigate the damage that was done.
After several years of outreach and fact-finding, by 2011, BGCSB was beginning to restore its reputation and attendance increased. The organization has continued to partner with public entities and local groups and in the process, re-established strong ties of local support.
Despite the shortcomings of the Boys and Girls Club of San Bernardino’s previous leaders, since the early 1970’s, the club has provided educational and recreational services to the community and partnered with multiple outside organizations in collaborative efforts to deliver a variety of programs and services.
Additionally, BGCSB has performed building renovations which included interior/exterior paint, internet wiring, new flooring throughout the building, electrical upgrades, irrigation system, landscaping, new plumbing, new heater, re-plastering of the pool and the addition of a Teen Center with audio and video production, a recording studio, and a dance studio.
Majadi notified city staff of BGCSB’s intent to separate from the Boys and Girls Club of America and become a stand-alone organization known as “The Center for Youth Enrichment & Family Empowerment”.
The newly named organization will continue its partnership with the San Bernardino City Unified School District to provide before and after-school care through three, before-school programs and thirteen, after-school programs, while also continuing to collaborate with other organizations. BGCSB plans to provide the same level of service with the same staffing level of 120 individuals.
City officials reached out to both the County of San Bernardino and the San Bernardino City Unified School District and discussed their plans for the continued partnership with the newly named organization.
San Bernardino City Unified School District officials confirmed that its relationship will remain unchanged for the duration of the existing agreement. San Bernardino County officials began consulting with their real property agent assigned to the lease on July 30, 2018 and will also seek direction from county counsel.