It was a big day for BGC Okanagan (formerly the Boys and Girls Club) and their Upstream Kelowna program.
On Friday morning (June 3), it was announced that the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation Kiwanis Legacy Fund committee donated $75,000 to BGC Okanagan for their Upstream program.
Upstream is a school-based prevention and early intervention program to build resiliency and well-being for students before a crisis hits. While the goal is to help improve the health and wellness of kids in the area in general, the focus this year is on mental health.
“It takes a community in order for an initiative like Upstream Kelowna to be successful,” said BGC Okanagan CEO Jeremy Welder. “…and we are thankful for the collaborative efforts of the youth and family service agencies that give us the ability to make real-time, significant positive impacts.”
Early on, Upstream has had an effective effort. In 2021, 25 family and youth services supported referrals from the program.
“In discussions with our community partners, we understand preventative models of care and service delivery are key to addressing the overall mental health and wellness of our youth,” said KGH Foundation Director of Grants Melina Moran.
In 2021, 54 per cent of students reported that they experienced a better sense of belonging and safety, while 43 per cent saw an improvement in their anxiety inside and outside the classroom.
On top of the donation, Kelowna City Councillor Maxine DeHart declared June 3 as BGC Day in Kelowna.
BGC Day has been named in multiple cities across the province.