Great Futures Start Here!

aka Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County   |   Lakeland, FL   |


To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County fill the gap in the community between school and home by providing welcoming, positive environments in which children and teens participate in life-changing programs, build supportive relationships with peers and caring adults, and build positive youth development skills for a well-rounded life.

Ruling year info



Mr. Steve Giordano

Main address

P. O. Box 763

Lakeland, FL 33802 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Boys' Clubs of Lakeland



NTEE code info

Youth Centers, Clubs, (includes Boys/Girls Clubs)- Multipurpose (O20)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The hours of 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm are the most dangerous hours for youth—Polk County teens are often unsupervised for 1-1 ½ hours during this time. They desperately need a safe place to be with positive adults who turn the “most vulnerable hours” into the “most valuable hours”. Academic disparities are significant in Polk County: 58% of students in BGCPC-served schools are below grade level. However, distinct academic disparities make low-income (63%), ELL (72%), disabled (78%), and minority students (65% vs 49% for Caucasian students) at heightened academic risk. Polk County Public Schools has the 12th lowest test scores in the state. (12/67) Those with less than a high school education earn $845 per month while high school graduates earn $3,027. PCPS has a low graduation rate: only 81% of all students graduate (79% of African American/Latino, 77% of low-income, and 76% of ELL students) while 7.3% of all students drop out. Polk County has the 9th lowest graduation rate in the state.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

After-School and Summer Programs

Comprehensive, high-quality after-school and summer programs that provide 1) homework help, 2) tutoring to increase academic proficiency, 3) academic enrichment activities, 4) STEM activities and skills, 5) physical fitness, sports, and recreation, 6) healthy eating, 7) parent engagement, 8) positive youth development and mentors, and 9) mental health and well-being support.

For school-age children, adolescents, and teens,

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Positive youth development provides a safe after-school and summer place where every child/teen has a strong sense of belonging and is known by an adult mentor. Many Polk County teens are unsupervised after school for up to 1 ½ hours per day, putting them at risk. In positive youth development after-school programs, students participate in a variety of activities including academic support, student team activities, creative expression, social advocacy, healthy decision making, physical fitness, sports, recreation, games, and healthy eating.

Positive youth development programs focus on reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors, having an immediate positive effect on school behaviors, academic proficiency, graduation, healthy decisions, readiness for college/career, and juvenile justice involvement. Youth are safer, more cared for, and have mentors who inspire them to create their path and make their dreams come true.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Florida Department of Education has awarded BGCPC 21st Community Learning Center grants for several years in various BGCPC locations. Components required by the grant:

• Homework help
• Tutoring and academic proficiency
• Academic enrichment
• Physical fitness, sports, and recreation
• Healthy eating
• Health, mental health, and well-being
• Character development and mentors
• Parent engagement

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has awarded National Mentoring Program grants to Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the U.S. including BGCPC. Mentoring programs assign trustworthy, positive, and safe adults to individual children/youth to guide them through their childhood, adolescent, and teen years. Mentors promote positive interaction, support, friendship, consistency, and trust.

The use of mentors significantly reduces negative school behaviors, negative interactions with others, involvement in crime, dropping out of school, poor decision making skills, poor health habits, and other risk factors. Mentors are a source for increasing protective factors and enabling youth to graduate high school on time, attend college, and attain careers with sustainable wages—these alone eliminate poverty in the youth’s lifetime and in their own family. Diverse mentors allow diverse youth to feel understood and to have a model that inspires them to believe they, too, can create their own path.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Youth participate in social advocacy to identify/meet needs of peers and their community, are empowered to support and influence their club and community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, participate in the democratic process, and respect their own and others' cultural identities. Youth participate in small-group leadership and community service activities.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Programs enable youth to become proficient in basic educational disciplines, apply learning to everyday situations, and embrace technology to achieve success in a career.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Programs develop young people's capacity to engage in positive behaviors that nurture their own well-being, set personal goals, and live successfully as self-sufficient adults.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Youth develop their creativity and cultural awareness through knowledge and appreciation of the visual arts, crafts, performing arts, and creative writing.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Programs develop fitness, positive use of leisure time, skills for stress management, appreciation for the environment, and social skills.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work


Boys & Girls Clubs of America: Member in Good Standing 2020


Superintendant Award 2012

Polk County Public Schools

Honor Award of Program Excellence 2011

Boys & Girls Clubs of America

21st Century Grant Awardee 2011

Florida Department of Education

Board Member of the Year Award 2009

Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Affiliations & memberships

Afterschool Alliance 2011

Boys and Girls Clubs of America 1939

Chamber of Commerce 1980

Points of Light Foundation 2011

United Way Member Agency 1980

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Percent in number of students showing improvement in reading, math, and science grades (K-12)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Ethnic and racial groups, Social and economic status

Related Program

21st Century Community Learning Centers Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Each year's results exceed established objectives

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

• Increase school grades (reading, math, science, social studies)
• Increase state test level(s) of academic proficiency (reading, math, science)
• Decrease school suspensions and office disciplinary referrals due to classroom behaviors
• Increase school attendance rates
• Increase daily amount of time of physical fitness activities, routines, and habits
• Increase daily recommended proportions of fresh fruits and vegetables
• Reduce number of sugar-sweetened drinks consumed per day
• Increase healthy eating habits
• Increase hours slept per night to at least 8 hours of sleep/night
• Reduce risky decision making, increase positive sources of influence and positive role models
• Significantly reduce amount of time youth report feeling sad, depressed, or hopeless

BGCPC provides comprehensive, high-quality after-school and summer programming for low-income youth based on positive youth development principles and strategies. With effective programs and high-quality mentorship, programs lead to Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) national outcomes: 1) academic success, 2) increased likelihood of on-time high school graduation, and 3) healthy lifestyles (physical fitness, good mental health, and healthy eating). All BGCPC programs reduce risky behaviors/decision-making and increase protective factors for youth ages 6-18.

Programs integrate homework help, tutoring, and academic enrichment with a strong focus on STEM, physical fitness and sports, healthy eating, social skills, youth voice, social advocacy, character and leadership development, service to the community, and family engagement. BGCPC programs are based on developing/using such 21st century competencies as collaboration, teamwork, communication, leadership, and problem solving. Youth grapple with youth and community issues in order to advocate for inclusive community, social, and systemic changes. Providing expressive and creative avenues for youth voice to build awareness, speak for the voiceless, and collaboratively address change is a key feature of BGCPC programs.

First, BGCPC has a strong and deeply committed Board of Directors many of whom have participated in Boys & Girls Clubs when they were young. The board consists of individuals from each community served and from varying professional occupations. Positive youth development programming is their commitment. 100% donate and all are involved in fundraising activities.

The president and central administrative staff are also deeply committed to highly effective Boys & Girls Clubs programs that result in 1) high attainment of outcomes, 2) putting each youth on a path that includes college completion+, 3) engagement in careers and occupations with lifelong sustainable wages, and 4) continuing to volunteer at their local Boys & Girls Clubs. This kind of impact is consistently seen and many club alumni return to speak to/encourage current club participants. Central staff also include club alumni who ensure similar high-quality experiences.

Each unit director (3 units in Lakeland, 1 each in Bartow, Haines City, Lake Wales, Mulberry, Winter Haven, and 1 in progress in Fort Meade) has many years of experience in implementing positive youth development programs in Boys & Girls Clubs as do staff members. All unit staff are committed to, and exemplify, eradicating academic and health disparities Polk County youth experience. All unit staff are positive mentors and role models.

The BGCPC Director of Grants, Ashley Thomas Ray, tracks student progress on a quarterly basis and in strong communication/collaboration with partner schools. She also tracks 1) BGCPC student and parent perception surveys, 2) partner-school teacher satisfaction surveys, and 3) program evaluation data. The design of BGCPC’s annual objectives, outcomes, and evaluation adheres to Florida Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers metric requirements. In addition, she conducts monthly unit walkthroughs with scaled rubrics of exemplary practices to observe and verify conditions that will lead to meeting objectives. Unit Directors also conduct monthly walkthroughs which are provided to Ms. Ray.

Quarterly data and walkthrough summaries are used to conduct real-time continuous improvement analysis with subsequent implementation of improvement strategies. Quarterly summaries are provided to the president who participates in continuous improvement. The president summarizes further to the Board of Directors.

BGCPC has strong community partnerships including partner schools in each community, each city and the county, strategic health and education community foundations, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, U.S.D.A. Child Care Food and Healthy Snacks Programs, University of Florida/IFAS Extension Polk County Office, as well as local corporations, businesses, and faith-based organizations.

The Boys & Girls Clubs movement has its beginning in 1860. BGCPC was organized in 1939 and has served at the forefront of youth development in Polk County communities for over 80 years, growing from one to nearly-nine locations.

BGCPC annually serves over 2,500 school-age youth who, without high-quality, comprehensive after-school and summer programming, would be at tremendous risk of negative risk factors, negative influences, and dropping out of school. By providing an effective mix of positive youth development programs, youth, instead, develop protective factors, stay in school, increase academic proficiency, graduate on time, and develop into responsible, community-minded individuals.

Boys & Girls Clubs in Florida make a positive impact on its participants’ academic performance and positive decision-making, and helps mold productive and responsible citizens who give back to the community. Results from independent studies include:

• 10%+ higher graduation rate than other youth in similar communities
• Youth attain academic proficiency
• 50% fewer days absent from school and 50% reduction in chronic absenteeism—preventing grade retention and dropout
• 60% fewer juvenile justice events—youth involved in the criminal justice system are at tremendous risk of recidivism and reincarceration

BGCPC’s lead program, Florida Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Center, shows impressive results including that 98% of participants were promoted on time to their next grade level, 94% of families state the program helped their child make better decisions, and 0% youth were involved in juvenile arrests.

BGCPC is a member of Boys & Girls Clubs of America with good standing (meets all operating standards, charter provisions, youth development best practices, fiscal and governance requirements, and National Youth Outcomes Initiatives assessment and continuous improvement practices).

The Chronicle of Philanthropy consistently rates Boys & Girls Clubs as the top youth development organization that donors give to and is currently #10 of America’s Favorite Charities.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals, To improve activities and offerings based on student and parent perception surveys

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 01/22/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Schaal Tim

Airtec Sprayers, Inc.

Gap Kovach

Great American Plates

Tim Schaal

Airtec Sprayers, Inc.

Kerry Wilson

Six/Ten, LLC

Keaton Alexander

Silver Palm Consulting

Mike Arnold

Summit Consulting, LLC

Chris Asbill

Snellings Walters

Brandon Giles

Polk State College

Jim Hall

Advanced Retail Merchandising, Inc.

Steve Kalogridis

Silver Properties of Winter Haven, LLC

Robert Loftin

Citizens Bank & Trust

David Miller

Peterson & Myers, PA

Gabrielle O’Toole

Polk County Guardian ad Litem Board

Butch Rahman

Valley Bank

Lee Saunders

Landsearch, LLC

Marcia Smith

Publix Super Market

George Tinsley

Tinsley Family Concessions

Mitch Weinstein

Acentria Insurance

Morris West

Mayor, City of Haines

Anthony "Tony" Fridovich


Christopher Groom

Florida's Natural

Stephanie Hoskins

Good Intents Marketing

JaQuis McCullough


Harry "Pete" Sawyer III

Sun South Equipment Leasing

Sarah Finlayson

Riverhawk Industrial Supply

Jocelyn Wilson

Graphite Financial

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/20/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/26/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.