CARBONDALE – Southern Illinois University Carbondale announced Tuesday an agreement with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Illinois to provide mentoring and educational opportunities, summer camps, potential scholarships and collaboration between the university and the nonprofit organization that typically serves between 700 and 1,800 school-age youths annually.
SIU Chancellor Austin A. Lane and Tina Carpenter, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Illinois‘ (BGCSI) chief executive officer Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding during an event at BGCSI’s administrative offices in Carbondale.
Lane said the agreement fit well with SIU Carbondale’s strategic plan, Imagine 2030, and its pillar addressing partnerships.
“We are excited to collaborate with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Illinois and plant the seeds of education at a doctoral university early,” he said. “We hope students in our own backyard will imagine their future at SIU Carbondale, whether they are traditional age or BGCSI employees.”
Carpenter noted that BGCSI and the university have worked on many partnerships since BGCSI’s inception in 2004 through internships, volunteers, employing SIU students, bringing youths to campus and more. Making it a formal partnership “means a commitment to the youth of Southern Illinois and our commitment to the university,” she said.
“This agreement gives us greater depth in providing our youth more opportunities and access,” she added. “We want our youth and their families to know that they can go to college or gain technical training, and with our partnership, we can help them realize their dreams.”
The agreement will have numerous partnership areas, including:
- Volunteer and internship opportunities.
- Saluki Commitment scholarships for BGCSI employees.
- A scholarship opportunity for BGCSI’s Youth of the Year.
- Participation in BGCSI’s Passport to Life program.
- Summer camp scholarships.
- Educational opportunities.
- Collaboration on early career assessments.
- Potential professional development opportunities for BGCSI staff.
This is SIU’s eighth agreement since 2021 with a school district or youth organization. Other recent partners include Carbondale Elementary School District No. 95, Girls Inc. of St. Louis, East St. Louis School District 189, Cahokia Unit School District No. 187, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois, and Scouts BSA Greater St. Louis Area Council and Lincoln Heritage Council.