Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth

Grant Writing and support for launch of new program

Established in 1938, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth (BGC) has provided meaningful programs and support to children and families in the community for 83 years. Their mission is to enable all young people to reach their full potential as responsible citizens through education, recreation, and positive community experiences in partnership with the Grand Rapids Police Department.

Kennari has been supporting BGC with grant writing since 2019. While our grant writing services have focused on a variety of their programming and services, we also helped secure funding to launch a new program focused on children/youth mental health. The program is called Be You Wellness. The Be You Wellness program, which was launched in 2021, began with comprehensive mental health training for staff and teenage Club members, as well as the addition of an MSW-level intern to facilitate therapeutic activities and support for children and youth in the Clubs. The goals for the first phase of this program were to increase awareness of mental health needs and treatment among staff and Club members, teach young people how to name their emotions, manage their stress and their reactions in stressful situations, advocate for their mental health needs, and improve the overall mental health and wellbeing of Club members. Because of the success of the first year of the Be You Wellness program, Kennari Consulting helped BGC grow the program with additional grant funding. Now, the program includes three MSW-level interns (one intern at each club location) and a full-time, licensed MSW staff member to provide counseling and additional mental health support to staff, Club members, and families in the community.

“The Be You Wellness program has been such an instrumental tool for helping us go above and beyond in serving youth in our community. Many of our kids need help learning to regulate their emotions and direct their feelings into a calm, positive energy. Our LMSW, Kristin, has only been on board for four months but has already implemented many changes for our staff and kids to help them build resilience and be successful. We are so grateful to Kennari for helping us obtain the funding needed for this important program.” – Angie Stumpo, Director of Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of GR