Be Great, Graduate

Over this past year, we adjusted to being constantly inundated with new challenges. We shared many stories with you all about how the pandemic affected the Clubs and most importantly our youth. Club youth continue to need support, structure, and stability more than ever. 

Naomas Faletogo, Operations Director at our Southwest Club recognized the growing need for one-on-one mentorship for teens who were struggling academically. Naomas dedicated his career to supporting youth in our community, with 30+ years at Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. He remembered a program, originally created by Boys & Girls Clubs of America — Be Great, Graduate. With the help of Area Director Brandee Paisano, the two brought the program back to life.

Be Great, Graduate is a program that focuses on supporting teens that are struggling academically. Through individual, tailored mentorship, our Club staff help teens gain the support they need both academically and socially. Club staff partner with each teen’s school, teachers, and school counselors to help implement each individual teen’s educational plan. By helping facilitate dialogue, staff provide safe places for our teens to ask questions and explain barriers that they may be experiencing.

Currently, the Be Great, Graduate program is operating at our Southwest and Federal Way Clubs. At the Southwest Club, our Teen Director Tobias heads the program with 15-20 high schoolers, 10 of whom come from our partnership with Chief Sealth High School. Chief Sealth High School received grant funding from the City of Seattle to help support student learning during the pandemic, providing  a unique opportunity for Boys & Girls Clubs of King County to support both teachers and teens in our community through our Be Great, Graduate program. 

Antonine, Teen Director at the Ron Sandwith Teen Center in Federal Way adapted the Be Great, Graduate program to serve all the teens who are enrolled in remote learning at the Club. This program has been an essential part of helping our teens overcome barriers during this past year of remote learning. We are grateful for our innovative and dedicated staff who saw the need of our teens and have tirelessly worked to provide the support, structure, and stability they need.