The Boys and Girls Club of North Alabama celebrated 23 graduating high school seniors who are members of the club.
WAAY 31 looked into how after school programs, like the Boys and Girls Club, impact graduation rates.
The graduation rate for kids in Alabama is 89%.
The rate for those who live in poverty is 84%.
The Boys and Girls Club said a majority of the kids they serve live in poverty.
They also told us 92% of the kids they serve graduate from high school.
The Huntsville Police Department didn't have hard statistics, but they said organizations like the Boys and Girls Club have a large impact on the lives of at-risk children, like the ones who grow up in poverty in public housing around Huntsville.
Levon Fletcher is one of the 23 seniors graduating high school, but if it weren't for the Boys and Girls Club after school activities, "I'd be on a way different path. No telling where I'd be. I may be in the streets somewhere," said Fletcher.
His mom is a single parent who worked in the afternoons, so instead of being home alone after school he came to the club.
"They taught me how to just care for one another, instead of hating each other, and then just coming in, getting our daily lessons; taught me how to stay focused. Even when I'm not in school I still have a mission," said Fletcher.
Academic tutoring is a big part of the after school activities they supplied.
"We want it to be not school 2.0, but at the same time being a continuing education platform for our kids in the afternoon," said President of Boys and Girls Club of North Alabama Patrick Wynn.
Huntsville City Schools told WAAY 31 anytime a student gets extra learning time outside of school, from organizations providing after school programs, it greatly impacts a student's success.
"If nobody doesn't care for them then we're going to go out and find it somewhere else. I feel like if there's any out of school programs, or anywhere like the boys and girls club, a child should be in that program, so he or she can find that people really do care for you, or people really do love you, so you don't have to go find it nowhere else," said Feltcher.
Fletcher said he's on his way to Troy University on a full ride football scholarship.
After graduating he plans on giving back to our community.
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