Boys & Girls Clubs expand their mentoring programs

  • Saturday, March 4, 2017 9:36pm
  • News

The Boys &Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula have received two federal grants from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Programs to implement two unique mentoring programs.

The Sea Research Foundation in Mystic, Conn. selected the Boys &Girls Clubs to participate in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program for a second year after a successful inaugural year.

“I really see the value in this program because it shows the opportunity of STEM careers here in the community,” said Brandon Gustafson, Mentoring Coordinator at the Boys &Girls Clubs.

The STEM program is divided into separate modules, each covering a different facet of STEM learning. The first module, which began in mid-February, teaches the children basic robotics by utilizing legos and lessons on animals and their habitats.

“They’re learning about basic mechanics and engineering,” Gustafson said.

Through the grant, the Boys &Girls Clubs were given six Google Chromebooks loaded with STEM related software that are intuitively built for students. The programs utilize drag and drop tools and “it engages kids who can’t really read yet,” Gustafson said.

Following the robotics module, the students will move forward and learn about math with the help of baseball. Then they will focus on water conservation.

“This was made for Kenai, it was made for the peninsula and it’s an awesome opportunity for the future,” Gustafson said.

The National Crime Prevention Council also selected the Boys &Girls Clubs for a grant focusing on at-risk youth in the Kenai Peninsula communities.

Through the program, at-risk mentees are paired with an adult from the community in order to build a positive relationship in the mentees’ lives. The program began this year and is in it’s third week but, according to Gustafson, the Boys &Girls Clubs are still in need of volunteers.

“This is crime prevention,” Gustafson said. “You walk outside and see that Kenai has problems, we can’t deny that. This is something we can do to improve it.”

Contact Brandon Gustafson at 283-2682 for more information on the Boys &Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula and becoming a mentor.

Reach Kat Sorensen at

More in News

Mount Redoubt can be seen acoss Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Offshore oil plan envisions a single Cook Inlet sale

The proposed 2023-2028 plan is similar to the just-ended Obama administration five-year plan

People line the streets in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022 for the annual Independence Day parade. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Red, white and blue all day

Kenai turns out for parade, activities to celebrate Independence Day

A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
StoryWalk is back after vandalism

The installation was discontinued last September after someone damaged the poles and podium plexiglass

Shawn Dick of Talkneetna carries a fresh catch out of the water while dipnetting on the Kenai Beach on July 10, 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Kenai River dipnetting opens this month

The Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery opens July 10

The sun is seen shining above the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on July 14, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clario file)
When the temperature hits 70, Alaskans feel the heat — and start suffering health ills

Acclimatization, the angle of the sun at high latitudes and other factors make summer heat more intense in Alaska

A map shows active fires around the state of Alaska on Friday, July 1, 2022. (Screenshot from Alaska Wildland Fire Information Map)
Fire danger prompts restrictions on burning, fireworks

There were 160 fires in Alaska as of Thursday, and of those 17 were staffed with fire personnel

Jessica Cook, left, and Les Gara are photographed in The Peninsula Clarion’s offices Thursday in Kenai. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Gara, Cook campaign on the Kenai Peninsula

The pair cited education funding, reproductive rights and election security as priorities

A map shows the Seward Highway MP 17-22.5 Rehabilitation Project area. The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 — from about Primrose Campground to near Teddy’s Inn The Woods — will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18, 2022. (Screenshot)
Roadwork in Moose Pass to shut parts of Seward Highway

The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18

Most Read