Foundation Supports Nichols College’s Two-Decade-Long Collaborative Program With the Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley
The Webster Five Foundation announced that as part of its Web of Caring to Make a Difference program, it has donated $7,500 to Nichols College to support the College’s program with the Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley. This 22-year-old community partnership helps the Boys & Girls Club provide a safe, caring environment for children after school. It also provides a valuable work-study opportunity for Nichols College students, who serve as youth counselors or tutors, and provide supervision, instruction, and attention to the children in the after-school program in the Marilyn and Gerald Fels Clubhouse at 55 Oxford Ave., Dudley, Mass.
The Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley offers a variety of recreational, educational, and cultural activities for its more than 1,400 members to help them build self-esteem and grow into responsible and caring adults. The club fills a significant need, with Nichols’ help, by providing a safe place for young people to learn and grow, develop relationships with adult professionals, and participate in life-enhancing programs and character development experiences.
“We enjoy partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley to provide a mutually beneficial opportunity to youth and young adults,” said Nichols College President Susan West Engelkemeyer, Ph.D. “And we’re grateful for Webster Five’s donation that allows us to continue offering this program.”
The partnership between Nichols College and the Boys & Girls Club ensures that club members in the after-school and teen programs can play and learn in a safe and stimulating environment, while providing an enriching experience for Nichols student-mentors to work with area youth.
“We are proud to work with both organizations and contribute to this program that is making a difference in the lives of youth in our community,” said Webster Five President and CEO Donald F. Doyle.
Lamel Moore, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley, said: “We are very thankful to have partners like Nichols College and Webster Five, allowing us to provide additional services to our members.”
BISON GIVE BACK
Giving back to the town of Dudley—whether through monetary donations or volunteering time—is important to Nichols College, according to Dean of Students P.J. Boggio. For example, students donated money and volunteered to help renovate Dudley Elementary School’s playground, which is used by Boys & Girls Club children, and to connect with DES pupils through math and reading lessons.
The Nichols College Student Government Association also partners with Fels Student Center staff to host the annual Giving Tree. Each December, students, faculty, and staff choose an angel ornament hanging on the tree; these angels have the name and gift request of a child in need. All gifts are given to children at the Webster-Dudley Boys & Girls Club.
Allowing children to interact with college students sets a good example and shows them that college is an attainable goal, according to Boggio.
“We believe it’s important for Nichols College to be part of the positive fabric of the local community; we also appreciate all the support we get from Dudley as our home community,” said Dean Boggio. “What better way for a college to show that appreciation than to enhance the learning environment for the young people in our town?”
Webster Five is a full-service, $805 million community bank with a history of financial strength. The main office is in Webster, Mass., with branch offices in Auburn, Dudley, Oxford, Shrewsbury, Webster, and Worcester. The bank is committed to creating a sense of community such that people feel supported in what they need by people who truly care about their best interest. Since its inception in 1995, Through the Web of Caring to Make a Difference program, the bank has provided millions of dollars in charitable contributions to local nonprofit organizations and programs.