Boys & Girls Club gets grant from Bank of Sierra

FILE PHOTO Robert Hansen, the owner of Crippen Mortuary, located left of the check, and Greg Wilson with The Matthews Childrens Foundation present a check for $1,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley in Newhall on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. "We've done this at least three years," said Hansen after the check was donated which made the total $3,000 for those three years. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

By Nathanael Rodriguez

For The Signal

The SCV Boys & Girls Club shared their thanks this week after Bank of Sierra announced it was giving $25,000 to the organization as part of the bank’s community outreach and support efforts.

Leaders for the local nonprofit said the money would help the organization further its access and programs to the more than 1,700 at-risk children the club plans to serve this year.

Club officials said the money would support Project Learn, an after-school support program that’s part of their “core” services to the community.

“Project Learn is one of the core programs here at the Boys & Girls Club,” said club CEO Matthew Nelson. “We want to ensure that all of Santa Clarita youth has opportunity to access and support in school.”

The program offers homework help and tutoring, STEAM programs, writing activities, mentoring and more to hundreds of children in the SCV.

Anne-Marie Bjorkman, the club’s president, heard about the grant near the end of 2018 and jumped on the opportunity to apply, she said.

Just last month, they received the news that they had received the grant.

Project Learn was one of the main reasons Bank of Sierra chose the club. The intent was right in line with the bank’s mission with its giving, according to a spokesman for the bank.

“One of our focuses is education,” said Mitchell Lee from Bank of Sierra’s marketing department. “They are helping tons of at-risk youths every year.”

The Sierra Grant Program has helped with this by donating over $2 million in grants over the In line with its brand promise, he said, and the Bank of Sierra is dedicated to helping the communities they are a part of to become a better place.

With the club’s track record of helping struggling students excel through Project Learn, the bank was more than willing to award the Boys & Girls Club with the grant.

The philosophy of Project Learn revolves around the idea that kids will retain what they are learning in school if it is supported by fun and engaging educational out of school programs and activities.

“We’ve seen high school students who are exposed to fun activities that turn into a passion that turn into careers,” said Nelson.

The Boys & Girls Club is excited to be partnering with Bank of Sierra, they see it as an investment. Bank of Sierra shares the same feelings.

“We’re happy that we have a branch in Santa Clarita,” Lee said, “and that we can serve the community there.”

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