‘My second home’

Young people on afterschool, the pandemic and the path forward

A boy wearing a Boys & Girls Club tshirt sits in front of a chalkboard.
Noah draws on his experiences attending a Salt Lake City area Boys & Girls Club. Photo: Open Minds, Open Spaces

What does the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic tell us about what young people need most in school-day and afterschool settings? How can we assure that they have the supports to heal, recover and reconnect with peers, mentors and learning?

Eight students who participate in afterschool programs around the U.S. shared their perspectives (see video). You’ll hear why Noah considers the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake his “second home,” how afterschool has provided Cristofer with a safe harbor during the pandemic, and why Deborah and Angeles believe young people can help our nation move forward together.

The students’ perspectives were gathered through interviews and forums hosted by statewide afterschool networks and the Afterschool Alliance, each of which are grantees of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

The Mott Foundation has granted more than $340 million since 1998 in support of afterschool in the U.S., including our home community of Flint. That grantmaking has nurtured the development of quality programs, innovation and everyday supports for young people, and this video offers a glimpse into the field’s very real impact on their lives.