Boys & Girls Clubs of America commissioned a research project designed to assess alumni experiences in Clubs and the impact participation had on their lives. This project replicated and expanded upon the research conducted in 1985 and 1999. Key themes explored as part of the current research included Club impact on individual lives both as children and as adults, education and civic engagement. The main objectives of the research were to:
- Examine benefits of length of membership and frequency of attendance;
- Uncover impact of Club membership on adult outcomes including education, employment, family situation, health and avoidance of risk; and
- Create a tool and analysis guide that local Clubs can use to conduct local alumni surveys.
The study sample consists of 1,014 alumni interviews with 814 conducted online and 200 via telephone. The interviews were conducted from Nov. 15, 2006, through March 16, 2007, and were 19 minutes in length on average. This national sample is a representative sample of Boys & Girls Club alumni.
The Results Are In!
Alumni reported that Boys & Girls Clubs continue to have both an immediate and long-lasting impact on their lives. Key findings:
- Up 5% from 1999, 57% of alumni said the Club saved their life.
- Overall, 91% are satisfied with their adult life.
- 61% of alumni became more committed to their education because of Boys & Girls Clubs.
- 28% of alumni would have dropped out of high school if not for Boys & Girls Clubs.
- Nationally, 16% of all students do not go on to graduate from high school, while only 8% of Boys & Girls Club alumni did not finish.
- Nationally, 21% of African American males do not go on to graduate from high school, while only 2% of Boys & Girls Club African American males did not finish.
- Overall, 26% of Boys & Girls Clubs alumni earned a 4-year college degree. This rate is equal to the national benchmark, a remarkable achievement since many Club members come from disadvantaged circumstances.
- 34% of African American Boys & Girls Club male alumni earned a 4-year college degree, compared to the national rate of 16%.
- Overall, Boys & Girls Club alumni mirror the national average for high school graduation and college achievement. Again, this is notable considering the disadvantaged circumstances of many Club members.
- 51% achieved a higher level of education than they thought possible because of their Club.