Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth has provided quality after-school programming to children and youth in the Grand Rapids community since 1938. A crucial part of their mission is to support youth in graduating from high school and one of the best ways to achieve this is by ensuring that students entering high school are prepared and ready. Kennari Consulting is honored to support their work and has assisted with strategizing and writing grants to help them acquire the funds needed for their essential programming.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids was recently awarded a $50,000 grant ($25,000/year for two years) from the New York Life Foundation to establish the Be Ready program, which is an evidence-based, comprehensive program to prepare students for a successful transition into high school. The program provides a range of classes and activities for 8th and 9th grade students that focus on information about high school, social-emotional support, and positive academic behaviors. The program includes activities during the 8th grade year and the summer before 9th grade, a focus on parental/familial involvement, and continued support once they begin high school.

Research shows that supporting students transitioning from middle to high school can be helpful in easing that adjustment and ultimately reducing school dropout rates, significantly increasing the likelihood of graduating from high school. The Be Ready program will ensure that youth transitioning from middle school to high school in Grand Rapids are prepared both academically and in regard to social-emotional development, with special attention given to addressing learning loss that may have occurred in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program represents one of many initiatives Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids has implemented to ensure access to equitable recreational and educational opportunities for all youth in the community.

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this competitive grant,” said Angie Stumpo, director of development. “This funding will greatly help our future high school freshmen to be extra ready for the transition to high school. We are so grateful to Megan and Josh at Kennari for all their work on this grant and many others. We highly value their partnership, and they have been instrumental in our ability to achieve our financial goals.”

To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth, visit