Mike Lansing grew up in San Pedro and started going to the San Pedro Boys Club in 1966. Back then, it was safe to play in the streets in the evenings. Later he returned to the community as a teacher and coach, for 17 years. In 1994, the Boys Club added Girls and began broadening its services and expanding the population served.

The BGCLAH provides services for at-risk youth in 14 locations in San Pedro and Wilmington. 30% of the children are living in poverty, so 600 hot evening meals are served daily. 500 members are bussed daily after school to the 3 main Club sites. After-school programs are sponsored at 10 LAUSD schools, and college counseling is provided at 6 high schools (where there is little or no other career counseling). The Saturday Arts Academy provides instruction in fine arts, music, dance, digital arts, film production, audio recording, 3D modeling, game design, and animation, to 1300 annually.

BGCLAH has grown from 125 youth/day in 1995 (budgeted at $270,000) to a planned 2500/day by 2020, with a budget of $8 million. The 5 priority service areas are: teens, education, arts, good character & leadership development, and healthy lifestyles. The College-Bound program has pushed graduation rates to 95% (compared to 68% at LAUSD), and students are helped to apply for scholarships and financial aid. 438 youth began college in 2015. Academic case management is provided to 500 other youth at 5 high schools.

None of this would be possible without the support of the community, corporate and individual donors, volunteers and dedicated staff. (Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theater, began her ballet lessons at BGCLAH.) You can learn more about the programs and how to volunteer or donate at http://www.bgclaharbor.org/.