Oxnard-area Boys & Girls Clubs raises over $5M to help with science-related career paths

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About 30 people gathered at the Martin V. Smith Youth Center in Oxnard for a reception thanking those that donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Oxnard of Port Hueneme in the last two years. (courtesy photo)

Oxnard and Port Hueneme’s youngest residents will soon receive have access to training for science-oriented careers from their local Boys & Girls Club.

Exceeding its goal to raise $5 million by about $80,000, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme thanked donors and club leaders at a reception Tuesday for their contributions toward building science, technology, engineering, art and agriculture, and math centers at each of its four club locations in Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Nylon Acres.

“The kids in our community need these opportunities,” said Erin Antrim, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme.

Beginning in elementary school, each of the approximately 10,000 students enrolled within the local Boys & Girls Club can join programs to prepare themselves for a high-paying careers in the county’s leading commercial and science-based industries, such as agriculture and manufacturing.

The students will engage with activities that revolve around 3D-printing, robotics, horticulture and engineering.

The funds, which were raised over two years, will also go toward upgrading the organization’s technological infrastructure and building and maintaining its endowment, according to Antrim.

She said each of the four science centers will be completed by the end of 2022.

“You guys are changing kids’ lives everyday, just like you changed mine,” said 15-year-old Amethyst Glass, who was recognized as the organization’s youth of the year.

Glass has been visiting the Boys & Girls Club for the past 10 years, attending leadership programs and advocating against drug and alcohol abuse. The organization helped build her self-confidence and become an up-and-coming leader in the community.

Glass said she hopes to one day sit on the Boys & Girls Club board of directors to help the community’s youth to achieve their dreams.

“(The Boys & Girls Club) really showed me how to be a leader, how to be myself,” said Glass, who is currently transitioning. “It’s really empowered me to do what I have to do.”

This story was originally published in the VC Star.

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