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Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties Honored With Three National Awards

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties (BGCSDC) was recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America with three prestigious awards at the Boys & Girls Clubs 2024 National Conference in Atlanta.

BGCSDC’s Tom & Debbie Shapiro Career Resource Center received the Roxanne Spillett Program Excellence Honor Award for Workforce Readiness. This coveted award recognizes programs that set new standards for program quality and excellence and equip youth with essential social-emotional skills for successful careers while exposing them to diverse career opportunities and work-based learning experiences.

The organization’s Tom & Debbie Shapiro Career Resource Center has provided college and career training, exploration opportunities, vocational training, and entrepreneurial education to local youth since 2016. President/CEO Bill Sadlo, Vice President for Teen Initiatives Suriya Khong, and longtime Board member, former Chair, and Vice Chair of Special Projects, Tom Shapiro accepted the honor.

Sadlo stated, “Since its inception, the Tom & Debbie Shapiro Career Resource Center has grown to serve over 200 teens each year. The program covers a range of subjects, including career exploration, entrepreneurial education, and vocational training in fields such as plumbing, automotive, and culinary arts. As a result, participating teens have reported increased confidence in their career goals, and even those who decide not to pursue trades or start a business leave with valuable life skills.”

In addition, Roscelyn Guenther, Director of Program Services at BGCSDC, was recognized with the CAPE: Safety Superhero Award (National Trainer Initiative) and the Commitment to Safety Award presented by BGCA Child Safety & Quality Assurance for her unwavering commitment to safety and training excellence.

Guenther stated, “Ensuring the safety of our staff and Club members is paramount in my role at BGCSDC. I am dedicated to continuously reviewing and improving our safety policies and procedures while also fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected and feedback is welcome.” She continued, “This sets the tone for a productive learning experience so trainees can engage meaningfully with the curriculum. I look forward to continuing to share tools and resources with the team for a greater impact on the members we serve.”

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