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Cultural Inclusion Program at BGCSM

From BGCSM

PORTLAND—Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine (BGCSM) has launched a new diversity, equity, and inclusion program, beginning with the election of three new board members who are recent alumni of BGCSM.

Mohamed Awale (Photo courtesy of BGCSM)

“We believe this program will create learnings for our Board and staff, provide opportunities for our young alumni to develop skills that will position them for further success, and serve as a training ground for future board engagement at other agencies in our community,” says Dajuan Eubanks, President of Maine Red Claws and Chair of BGCSM Governance Committee.

The young alumni will be full members of the BGCSM board of directors, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities afforded to all board members. Board positions will be held for three years, and BGCSM will add one new alumni seat each year going forward. Support for the new board members will include facilitated workshops on board governance, leadership, board fundamentals, financial oversight, inclusion, fundraising, and more.

The Young Alumni/Cultural Inclusion Board Program is one component of larger diversity, equity, and inclusion plan at BGCSM. The organization is committed to accelerating this work by providing a forum for Club members to express their views, concerns, and questions; embedding social justice curriculum into all elements of BGCSM programming; assessing the organizational culture; training staff; and intentionally partnering with the community to advance racial equity and social justice efforts.

The BGCSM board of directors unanimously endorsed the program and elected the inaugural group of young alumni directors at its annual meeting earlier this month. They are:

Dorcas Ngaliema (Photo courtesy of BGCSM)

Roger Charest attended the Auburn/Lewiston Boys & Girls Club. He graduated from USM in 2017 with a BA in applied math. He is working as a Store Manager for Hannaford.

Mohamed Awale – attended the Portland Boys & Girls Club. He received a Promise Scholarship to attend the University of Southern Maine and graduated with a degree in Political Science. He works for Progressive Insurance and hopes to one day pursue a career in performance art.

Dorcas Ngaliema attended the Portland Boys & Girls Club. She graduated from SMCC with an Associate degree in Political Science. She is attending USM with a focus on social justice and hopes to go to law school to work in immigration law.

“We are so excited to welcome our recent BGCSM alumni onto our Board. They will bring a fresh perspective and voice to the table and help ensure that BGSCM continues to support the next generation of members on their path to productive, healthy, and successful futures,” said Brian Elowe, CEO of BGCSM.

Also elected to the board are new members John Gaudet, President of J. Gaudet Associates, and Brianna DiDonato, Special Education Teacher at Spurwink Glickman Academy and President of BGCSM Alumni Association.

Roger Charest (Photo courtesy of BGCSM)

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine has provided youth development programs for children ages 6-18. Our Clubhouses are safe places to learn, have fun, and develop skills and interests that last a lifetime. For more information visit bgcmaine.org. The BGCSM has offices at 277 Cumberland Ave in Portland.

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