Getting better grades. Increasing their self-confidence. Developing leadership skills. Setting themselves up for future success. Cameron, Sabio and Olivia are gaining all of this–and more–since enrolling in Rogers Raising the Grade (RRTG) at our Bowness Club.
Rogers Raising the Grade, made possible by Rogers Youth Fund, is an interactive after-school program that allows youth to explore their personal interests, receive homework support, connect with mentors and tutors, interact with peers, increase their digital literacy and plan for post-secondary education. As part of the program, Rogers helped support the development of technology centres in numerous Boys and Girls Clubs locations across Canada, including our Bowness Club, providing youth with a designated room containing computers, high-speed internet access, hardware and software to best support their learning and interests. Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary also runs the program out of our Beltline Youth Centre, made possible by the donation of tablets from Rogers. This program is just one example of the support that has enabled us to grow, adapt and meet the changing needs of our children, youth and community over the past 75 years. Here, Olivia, Sabio, and Cameron share some of their highlights from the program...
Olivia, 14 years old, is going into grade nine; this will be her third year with RRTG. Olivia is outgoing and well-spoken, and is quick to share about how this program has impacted her life. She says, “I always thought school was a struggle for me before Rogers Raising the Grade.” Since working with her mentor, Olivia has improved her grades in math and science, two subjects which she struggled in previously. Olivia says that RRTG allowed her to learn in a safe and supportive environment, free from judgment. One of her goals since grade six has been to make honour roll; she was excited to report that this past year, she made the honour roll at her school, something that has given her great confidence when interacting with her peers.
Sabio, 15 years old, is going into grade ten and entering into his second year with RRTG. Quiet and easy-going, Sabio talks about how he was headed down a bad path before finding out about the Bowness Club and RRTG. He shares how the program has provided him with incredible opportunities, such as developing leadership skills within the community, enhancing his photography skills, and encouraging him to try new things. Last year, Sabio encountered some difficulties in math. RRTG was able to support him with a math tutor, making a huge difference to his final grade. He says, “Rogers Raising the Grade has changed my view on things, pushed me to get more involved in my community and makes me want to be a better person.” Because of the support he has received, Sabio is actively planning for his future after high school.
Cameron is 14 years old; he is about to start grade nine, as well as his second year with RRTG. Cameron is upbeat and confident as shares about how he has been coming to the Bowness Club since he was six years old. He talks about the unique opportunities he has been given since joining RRTG, including a trip to Disney World last December with 15 other teens from Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada; this one-of-a-kind experience was made possible by WestJet, through their WestJet Cares for Kids program, as well as by Walt Disney World Resorts (Canada). Cameron joined RRTG to connect with other youth his age, and to receive support in preparing for his future after graduation. Because of his involvement in the program, Cameron found new opportunities to engage in other youth programs at the Club, such as Book Club and Teen Night. Cameron is thankful for the Club’s influence in his life: “Rogers Raising the Grade and the Club, they are like your family. They all care for you. My life would probably be pretty different without them.”
As summer winds down and they gear up for another year of school, Cameron, Sabio and Olivia are excited to see what another year of Rogers Raising the Grade will bring. Here’s to continued learning, new experiences and the bright futures ahead of them.