Successful Gangbusters Program Among the Beneficiaries
CARLSBAD, CA, November 15, 2005 – The Callaway Golf Company Foundation today announced the award of grants totaling $90,000 to four Boys & Girls Clubs in North San Diego County. For the second straight year, the grants were awarded to support a variety of highly successful programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista.
Since its inception in 1993, the Callaway Golf Company Foundation has donated more than $6 million to nonprofit organizations in and around North San Diego County. In the past two years, the Foundation has targeted $180,000 specifically to the area Boys & Girls Clubs. Among the many Boys & Girls Clubs initiatives benefiting from the funding are the acclaimed Gangbusters/Life Skills programs in place at all four North County Boys & Girls Clubs. The programs are aimed at gang violence prevention, intervention and education.
The Boys & Girls Club of Oceanside developed the Gangbusters program in 1995 in response to escalating gang violence and gang-related homicides in Oceanside. Since then, nearly 3,000 at-risk young people aged 11-to-18 have been referred to the Gangbusters program by schools, police, probation departments and family members for problems ranging from disruptive behavior and failing in school to violence and gang involvement.
"In a day and time where finding support for youth programs has become increasingly difficult, Callaway Golf has stepped up and removed obstacles for our Gangbusters program," said Paul Paopao, Director of Operations at the Boys & Girls Club of Oceanside. "The program’s success has been largely due to the financial commitment of the Callaway Golf Company Foundation, which has allowed our organization to hire staff who are highly motivated to effect change in our teenagers’ lives. That has been extremely important to our past and present success stories".
"One of our primary goals is to support programs that improve the lives of young people," said Julie Maloy, President of the Callaway Golf Company Foundation. "That was important to Mr. Callaway and has been part of our charter since the Foundation’s inception. The Foundation is proud to once again assist these four Boys & Girls Clubs, as they continue their efforts to provide a safe environment for kids to learn and grow."
With the help of a trained professional staff, Gangbusters employs a variety of proven, effective approaches to mentor and guide young people, including anger management training, conflict resolution, decision-making skills development, dealing with peer pressure and improving social skills. In addition, participants can complete community service work, receive educational support and participate in social recreation and sports activities.
The Oceanside Boys & Girls Club Gangbusters program counts St. Louis Rams linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa among its successful graduates. Tinoisamoa, in his third NFL season, credits Gangbusters for turning his life around. "That program really helped me through some tough times," he said. "What a difference it made in my life."
Stuart Nealy, 15, a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Oceanside for six years and the Gangbusters program for the past three, feels the same way. Raised by a single mother in a one-room apartment in an area of Oceanside beset by drive-by shootings, he has struggled with structure and discipline. During a regular mentoring session at the Club, Stuart spoke of the difficulties of following to his mother’s directions along with his fears about being sent away to live with his father.
Through mentoring and daily interaction, Stuart has made tremendous strides and was recognized as the 2004 Youth of the Year. While the daily circumstances of Stuart’s life have not changed, the way he deals with them has.
Asked how the Gangbuster program has changed his outlook on life, he said, "The Gangbusters program provides me with a safe place to talk to mentors about my problems. I’m able to talk to the staff about things that I can’t tell my mom or my friends. I was embarrassed to let others know that I was hurting because of the absence of my father. Being in the program helps me stay out of trouble." The knowledge and confidence he has gained through counseling, tutoring, athletics and one-on-one mentoring has made Stuart believe he will be a good role model for his younger brother and other program participants.
About The Boys and Girls Clubs The Boys & Girls Clubs organization provides essential youth development enrichment activities to boys and girls. Typically, Clubs are strategically positioned to provide these services to young people who come from disadvantaged circumstances, including single parent households and dual working parents who have desire for their children to be actively involved in quality low-cost development activities with professional, caring staff. Staff is trained to mentor and guide youth in their decision-making, to help them learn to use sound judgment about personal safety, nutrition and avoidance of drugs and alcohol.
About Callaway Golf Company and the Callaway Golf Company Foundation
The Callaway Golf Company Foundation supports initiatives in communities where its employees live and work, focusing specifically on programs that improve the lives of young people and provide access to essential health services. The Foundation was created in 1993 by the late company Founder, Ely Callaway, to help those in need and give back to the community that has helped make is so successful.
Boys & Girls Club of Oceanside
Randall B. Godinet