Union Pacific Provides After-School Support to Students in Washington State

BGC Puget Sound staff poses with kids at after-school club | O

A staff member with Boys & Girls Club of South Puget Sound poses with students at an after-school club.

In the state of Washington, 16 percent of students fail to graduate from high school. The Boys & Girls Club of South Puget Sound has made its mission to change that, by providing after-school education opportunities for school-age kids. In 2023, they served over 5,000 students with opportunities to learn and grow outside of school.

Funded by grants from Union Pacific’s Community Ties Giving Program, the Club is hiring and training high quality staff to be mentors for local students in three counties to help with their schoolwork.

“We offer so many things for students to learn, grow and reach their full potential, all wrapped in a safe place where they can go after school until their parents get off work,” said Matt Lambert, director of marketing and communications for the Boys & Girls Club of South Puget Sound. “We are a hub for our kids and the community rallies around them.” 

Union Pacific is thrilled to support educational opportunities for students in communities and states that we serve like those in Washington’s Puget Sound region.

“We are so proud to partner with this respected organization, which enhances community vitality by providing a welcoming place for kids to call their own while they do their homework, spend time with friends or play a little basketball,” said Aaron Hunt, senior director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific Railroad.

Kids that visit the Boys & Girls Club after school can play sports with their friends, get help with their homework, learn about leadership, and even have a warm meal. The Club provides summer programs that include sports leagues and learning opportunities outside the school year, and partners with local organizations, like fire departments and schools, to educate kids outside the classroom.

But it’s about much more than just playing ball and doing schoolwork.

“Our programs help to build self-confidence. I’ve seen big changes in children who begin to believe in themselves and grow confident in learning for life,” said Lambert.

Boys & Girls Club of South Puget Sound has nine club sites and three school sites in three counties in the South Puget Sound region.

In 2023, Union Pacific’s Community Ties Giving Program proudly awarded nearly $5.1 million in local grants, benefiting 543 nonprofit organizations across its 23-state system. The small- and medium-sized grants support initiatives centered around the railroad’s key areas of giving: safety, workforce development, community vitality and environmental sustainability.

The application process is open April 1-May 31, 2024, and is competitive, ensuring a fair opportunity for all eligible entities. To read more about Union Pacific’s Community Ties Giving Program or apply for a grant, visit up.com/communityties.

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