MacKenzie Scott Gift and New Projects
Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson Announces Community Impacting Projects Alongside $3.5 Million MacKenzie Scott Gift
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson (BGCT) is one of 62 chapters to have been chosen by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott to receive a $3.5 million dollar gift. The organization is an affiliate of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, of which there are over 4,000 branches.
Stewarding the gift has taken months of careful planning, spearheaded by CEO Denise Watters and a panel of expert advisors that includes incoming board president, Mitchell Sigsworth. While 2.4 million dollars will be set aside for future ventures, 1.1 million has been allotted for a series of deeply impacting community projects. Watters and Sigsworth, each bringing decades of business expertise and serving on non-profit boards, will be driving these projects over the next several years.
“I’m delighted to be serving as Board President and to see these projects soar.” Sigsworth said, “The world has changed in many ways, and we need to keep being champions for the needs of Tucson’s youth.”
Among them includes a community WIFI hotspot garden. The garden will be adjacent to one of BGCT’s already-existing six Clubhouse locations and will include features such as a communal vegetable and fruit patch, shaded structures, and the ability to bring academic programs outside to stay aligned with safety practices and provide youth the opportunity to be exposed to nature. The hotspot will be provided as part of a partnership with COX and supports the organization’s goals to continue combatting educational inequalities youth face, in this case access to quality internet.
Another project will involve the renovation of the Steve Daru Clubhouse, one of the oldest locations and a landmark that has seen generations of youth come through its doors. The Clubhouse will be modernized both internally and externally, beautifying it and preserving its legacy for decades to come.
One of the most involved and intricate projects will see the existing Holmes Tuttle Clubhouse location completely transformed into a Teen Tech and Workforce Center. This center will nurture career pathways in tech and provide members with critical employability skills. From gaining aptitude in soldering and chip building to developing the entrepreneurial leadership qualities essential to build a monetized YouTube channel the upcoming center will offer a unique and exciting variety of opportunities that empower teens to thrive in the ever-growing tech fields.
“At BGCT we have always believed in dreaming big for Tucson’s youth,” CEO Denise Watters said, “MacKenzie Scott clearly shares the same vision. We could not be more grateful for her generosity and belief in us. In the same vein, this couldn’t happen without the support of a fabulous executive team and a visionary board that is committed to fearlessly pioneering the most impacting ideas. I look forward to revealing more details on these projects as they progress, as well as celebrating the many individual names, organizations, and partners working tirelessly to make them happen. It’s going to be a lot of work, but we could not be more passionate about rolling our sleeves up and connecting even more deeply with the needs of the communities we are fortunate to serve. At the end of the day, it’s all about the youth.”
The gift’s announcement coincides with the organization’s upcoming 65th anniversary in 2023, of which there are a series of additional exciting projects and campaigns planned for announcement in the near future.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson
For nearly 65 years Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson has helped keep thousands of local children involved in after school and summer programming. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BGCT opened its doors to serve the community Monday through Friday with extended hours to support families with distance learning. Currently, the Clubs have resumed regular after school programming, offering daily access to a broad range of programs in five core areas: Character and Leadership Development; Education and Career Development; Health & Life Skills; The Arts; and Sports, Fitness, and Recreation. The organization currently serves youth ages 7-18 at its six local clubhouses and outreach programs. Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson is a qualifying charity for the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit (QCO 20282). To find out more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, visit bgctucson.org or call (520) 573-3533.