The Junior League of Washington (JLW) is proud to award a $12,500 grant to a longstanding community partner, Children’s National Medical Center, in support of its Teen Life Clubs (TLC) program. JLW’s grant will provide just under half of the fiscal year’s needed funding for the TLC program, with a grant from the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education providing the other funding.
Children’s Hospital of the District of Columbia was founded by a group of citizens in 1870 to care for children orphaned during the Civil War. The hospital has grown from a 12-bed row house to Children’s National Medical Center – a 303-bed, medical facility that is ranked among the top pediatric hospitals in America by U.S. News and World Report. In the more than 140 years since its founding, Children’s National has become a vital community resource and a significant national force for the advancement of pediatric health care. The mission of Children’s National is to excel in Care, Advocacy, Research and Education and is accomplished through: Providing a quality health care experience for our patients and families; Improving health outcomes for children regionally, nationally, and internationally; and Leading the creation of innovative solutions to pediatric health challenges. It is the only integrated health care system in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area dedicated exclusively to the care of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.
Beginning in the 1920s, the JLW showed strong support of the children’s hospital by funding a convalescent ward and then a Social Services department. The JLW continued its commitment by funding a director of volunteer services and a Child Guidance Center, and in the 1960s, provided a grant to assist in the opening of an Intensive Care Unit. Today, the JLW provides trained volunteers to the TLC program at Children’s National.
TLC is one of the programs offered through Children’s National’s Adolescent Prevention Education Programs. TLC provides young people with the knowledge, activities and mentorship they need to help them avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. It is a 26-week program that includes weekly club meetings, monthly enrichment activities and group mentorship. Club members can earn a stipend based on attendance, punctuality and participation. At TLC meetings, members address topics such as safe sexual activity, goal setting, responding to violence, maintaining healthy relationships, securing jobs and exploring careers. Volunteers from the Junior League of Washington are an essential part of the TLC events. They provide materials and supplies for events and speakers for particular workshop presentations. With the support and energy of these volunteers, TLC club members are exposed to significant cultural and enrichment activities, as well as positive role models for leadership and good citizenship.
In the last full year of the program, TLC served just over 70 youth through six community sites, which is a major expansion of the program from previous years. This year TLC seeks to serve 100 youth at six to eight sites in the D.C. area. The goal is to continue to expand the program, by gaining access to new youth service locations such as Boys and Girls Clubs, D.C. Parks and Recreation Centers and more schools within the area.