Posted on April 28, 2017

Discover our Great Partner

Members engaged with a Boys & Girls Club alumnus who encouraged them to follow their passions.

Speaker Preston Smiles urges his audience to “get a squad, get a family, get a crew that sees who and what you are.” For our members, the Club is the place where they are inspired to access their potential with the support of Club peers, staff, and volunteers. On Tuesday, Discover Financial Services sponsored Preston Smiles to come into our Club and engage with our members about their passions. Smiles is a Boys & Girls Club alumni and was able to relate his experiences as a BGC member to our current youth. One theme that resonated throughout his interactions was finding happiness. Smiles is a non-traditional speaker who interacts with youth individually and encourages them to speak of their passions to tailor his message.  By the end of the day, Preston had Club members laughing and racing him in the gym. His parting gift to the group was his book, Love Louder: 33 Ways to Amplify Your Life, which our teens are excited to read.

Discover’s youth professional group, YPOD, selected Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus as their partner charity for 2016. We were excited for Discover’s partnership initiative, but weren’t fully anticipating what the year brought.  In the spring of 2016, Discover facilitated the “Money Matters” course at our Milo-Grogan Club, which educates teens on financial literacy through budgeting, managing a checking account, and investing. Our new partners took the initiative to supplement the traditional curriculum with their own relevant games and material, transforming the course from a 6-week curriculum to a full semester of engaging lessons.

The YPOD group generously delivered the same weekly programming in the fall, and were enthusiastic about volunteering at the Club’s popular holiday party in December. The volunteers went shopping specifically for the members they formed relationships with on an individual basis at their “home” Club. They also brought two new flat screen TVs, a Playstation 4, an Xbox, and games for both consoles.

Not only did Discover’s YPOD group renew their partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus for 2017, but they also wanted to increase their volunteer efforts. This coming summer, Discover is planning to host a day-long program at their headquarters including mock interviews, resume-building, and a cookout to introduce our members to the experience of a Discover career.