Good evening and thank you to Kevin McHolland and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix for all of the outstanding work that you do for Arizona kids. Let me just echo Kevin’s sentiments about Amy Gibbons: I’ve known Amy for a long time. Since I was in the ice cream business. An outstanding champion for our kids and our teens. Made sure our most deserving youth had the right tools to succeed. We’re grateful for her service and wish her all the best. I look forward to working with Marcia Mintz and the rest of the Boys and Girls Club I share the common goal of ensuring all of our youth reach their full potential. I recently delivered a State of the State Address which included a detailed agenda for education in our state. That vision begins with Educational Excellence and the reality is that the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix are an extension of a student’s school day AND their family.
All 13 Clubs provide our kids a safety net and a caring team committed to making academic achievement, character development and community service central in the lives of more than 11,000 of our young citizens. Your impact on high school graduation rates paints the full picture on your success (numbers are from the Economic Impact Report): The average rate of graduation for districts served by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Phoenix is over 85 percent. However, for those students attending your Clubs, the rate is nearly 95 percent. And the yearly increase in median income for each of these students is over $8,000. The economic impact that the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix is having on our community cannot be overstated: When a parent or caregiver can keep their job by sending their child to one of your Clubs, an additional $30,000 of income is generated, which fuels Arizona’s economy by $126 million every year. And the socio-economic benefit to our state is almost $205 million.
Not only are you easing the burden of Arizona parents, you are – most importantly – making a tremendous difference in the lives of our kids and our families. Thank you all again for having me come speak tonight. The work you’re doing makes Arizona an amazing place to live. Thank you again to Amy for your dedication and passion over the years. You’ve helped make this a first-rate organization that will continue to have an enormous impact on our community. With our shared vision we’ll continue to move the needle and lift up the lives of Arizona’s kids and families.