Drake University welcomed The Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Boys & Girls Club to campus this past August. The club is only the second in the nation to be on a private college campus.
The presence of the new Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa (BGCCI) on Drake’s campus has been beneficial for both the BGCCI and Drake. The Burt Club on Drake’s campus is a family club, a club that serves children K-12th grade.
“We believe just the location itself makes an important statement to the children we serve,” Jodie Warth, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa said. “Because many of the children BGCCI serves wouldn’t necessarily believe college is possible, having the Burt Club located on a beautiful campus gives hope to children and encourages them to dream that higher education is possible.”
Warth said they are blessed to have Drake students who are studying in fields of human services and youth development work at the club.
“We provide an environment for work-based learning, as well as having a flexible part-time job that is incredibly rewarding,” Warth said.
Drake administration, faculty, staff and students have all shown support and enjoy getting involved, said Warth. Students have filled staff positions and many volunteers and athletes, including members of the Drake football team and the Drake women’s volleyball team and basketball team, hosted teen nights last fall.
Volunteers are assigned to specific groups of kids and are able to build relationships with them. Warth said student staff work with specific kids to provide programming and activities that meet the development needs of the club kids. Most of the work is related to their studies at Drake.
“Volunteering at the Burt Club is such a rewarding experience that I’ve had the pleasure of participating,” Drake student Lucas Botten said. “Even though volunteering at the club looks like we’re only hanging out with them, it is much more than that. When we are there with the kids, we become role models, and being able to be a positive influence on these kids is what makes volunteering such a rewarding experience.”
Suzie Glazer Burt is the daughter of the late Madelyn Levitt, a notable philanthropist and longtime Drake benefactor. She is also the granddaughter of Ellis Levitt, who was one of the founding fathers of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa. The one part of the name, Gregory, hails from Suzie’s late husband who unfortunately passed away before he could see the opening of the club that carries his name.
Suzie is very passionate about Drake and about Boys & Girls Clubs, carrying on the legacy of both her mother and her grandfather. If you are interested in getting involved at the Boys and Girls Club while on campus please contact Kendra Allen, Unit Director of Burt Club, at firstname.lastname@example.org.