Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee celebrate the "Year of the Girl"

Milwaukee - For decades, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee have served as sanctuaries and safe places for local kids. The organization provides programs and outlets for area boys and girls to take advantage of. However girls have taken center stage recently, as the clubs have dubbed 20-14 as the \"year of the girl.\" That's due in part to the club's history of inclusion.

\"In 1984, the Boys Clubs of Milwaukee decided that girls deserve service; that girls should be allowed for membership,\" Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee chief operations officer Denisha Tate explained.

While impressive, that move was even more groundbreaking because the clubs in Milwaukee were the very first in the nation to do so. They were also the first to officially change their name to the Boys & Girls Clubs.

\"We're trendsetters here in Milwaukee,\" Tate said.

The year of the girl celebrates all the contributions girls and women make. It also carries a heavy focus on fostering an interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. That focus is right up 14-year-old club member Pilar Sharp's alley. Over a game of foosball, I learned she's planning on a very specific career as a biomedical engineer-slash-lawyer. And thanks to the club's message of empowerment, she has the confidence and support to achieve whatever goals she sets her mind to.

\"I've always thought the Boys & Girls Clubs helps us prepare for greater success,\" Pilar told us. \"So I think that helps a lot, every single day I come.\"

I also spoke with another impressive club member, 13-year-old D'naya Collins. She told me just how much the club's programs and efforts have meant to her.

\"I think it's very important to celebrate the fact that it's the year of the girl, because girls are very important.\" D'naya shared with a smile. \"And girls run the world.\"

There's little doubt the message of empowerment resonates loud and clear with D'naya. She plans on a future career in the medical field and the club is helping guide her in her journey. But of course, that's what the club is all about.

\"They are tomorrow's leaders,\" Tate affirmed. \"And that it's possible. And that we have the confidence that , not only will they lead, they'll be great leaders. And they will be successful leaders. And that it starts today.\"

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee will hold a special event in November as a culmination of the events from the entire \"year of the girl\" campaign. It will celebrate the achievements of the young women who took part. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee are making Milwaukee great.

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