Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence named to top 40% of impactful clubs nationwide

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The local Boys & Girls Club has been placed in the top 40% of impactful clubs within the national network for its youth advocacy work during the previous year.

The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence has earned a 2023 Hero of Youth award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, according to a news release from the organization. Laci Maltbie, CEO of BGC of Lawrence, said providing after-school programming is a community staple.

“We are committed to raising the visibility of need in our community, especially for the children and adolescents who need us most,” Maltbie said in the release. “This could not happen without the support of our elected officials, and we thank them for their partnership.”

As part of the national organization’s Club Advocacy Engagement Recognition Program, local BGCs are recognized for how impactful their advocacy efforts have been, using a point system. Emphases are put on “impact, creativity and innovation,” according to the news release.

Clubs earn points that determine a percentile ranking: “Advocate,” which represents the top 50% of clubs; “Hero,” which represents the top 40% of clubs; and “Champion,” which represents the top 10% of clubs.

In 2023, BGC of Lawrence hosted the annual ceremony for Lawrence Youth of the Year, which Arabella Gip won for the second consecutive year. The club also showcased youth arts at its “Lights On!” talent show, took students to meet with representatives at the Kansas State Capitol, fundraised with a celebrity softball tournament and more in addition to its everyday activities and programs.

“Because of the steadfast advocacy of leaders like Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, our nation’s youth have access to skills and experiences that can put them on the path to great futures,” Jim Clark, CEO & President of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, said in the release. “These successes aren’t possible without a strong partnership with elected officials at the local, state and federal levels. I commend the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence for their tireless work on behalf of their community’s youth and congratulate them on this much-deserved recognition.”

Learn more about the BGC of Lawrence on its website,

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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