Who We Are For hundreds of children in South Central Los Angeles, Challengers Boys & Girls Club is an oasis. It is the only safe place they can go to play, socialize, do their homework, and just be kids. Founded in 1968 by Lou Dantzler with 12 boys in the back of his pickup truck, Challengers has since grown into a nationally-recognized organization that provides the at-risk children and youth of South Central Los Angeles a positive alternative the violent streets of their neighborhood and the individual attention, caring and guidance they need to become responsible, productive members of society. What We Do
"If it wasn't for Challengers, where would these kids be?"
-- Magic Johnson Challengers Boys & Girls Club provides a time-honored and time-tested set of programs designed to reach and motivate today's inner city youth to reach their full potential - academically, physically and socially-- all nestled within a safe, uplifting campus populated with positive adult role models. Our nationally recognized programs address the most pressing issues facing at-risk youth today, providing our young people the skills and confidence they need to succeed in life.
What We Believe We believe that if young people are provided with opportunities to be successful, and offered alternatives to these obstacles, they will be less likely to look for inappropriate activities, such as gang involvement. Gang involvement is attractive to youngsters who need a sense of belonging, who feel inadequate, who have no social outlets and who have difficulty with interpersonal relationships. Many children who live in communities where there is extreme poverty, high rates of unemployment, crime, drug abuse and despair become caught up in the feeling of hopelessness. This hopelessness, coupled with low self-esteem, is manifested at first as behavior problems at home and in school, and later as delinquent or violent acts. Our GOALS & objectives· Improve academic achievement, attendance and attitudes about schools · Provide a safe place for our youth to run, play and participate in sports, recreation and social activities · Improve decision making and problem-solving skills · Provide the tools and skills necessary to make positive life choices · Increase parent understanding of developmental issues facing their child(ren)
· Assist parents in addressing behavioral or other problems
Each year Challengers provides critical services for more than 3,000 at-risk and economically disadvantaged South Los Angeles children, ages 6 to 17 . These services encompass a wide range of programs that target the health, educational, recreational and emotional needs of our members. For a mere $75 per year membership fee, each member has unlimited access to:
- Daily sports and recreation activities, including tennis instruction and tournaments, basketball, game room, fitness games, flag football, cheerleading, dance, aerobics, weight lifting, relay races and the like;
- Homework help and educational support, including tutoring and SAT prep;
- Leadership programs designed to build character and self esteem;
- Healthy Lifestyle programs such as Mind Body Soul, Home Economics and Community Garden;
- No cost, comprehensive Dental Care through our Smile Shoppe Dental Clinic;
- Arts & Cultural Programs, including field trips to museums and cultural events;
- Job & Life Skills through our Radio & TV programs;
- Educational Opportunities through our Charter Middle School and Charter High School.