Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll Visited Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell

Lowell, MA – Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll on Friday toured the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, viewing the Club’s ongoing renovation construction and hearing from impassioned community members about the importance of the Club’s vision to end generational poverty through its ambitious Believe & Become renovation campaign.

During a roundtable discussion with more than 70 community leaders and dozens of Club staff and supporters, Executive Director Joe Hungler and several community leaders—including University of Massachusetts Lowell Chancellor Julie Chen, Theodore Edson Parker Foundation Board Member Sophy Theam, and City Manager Tom Golden—spoke passionately about the Club’s ongoing renovation as a sound investment not only in the city’s youth, but also in the community. The discussion was held in the spacious new café and multipurpose community room in a space previously holding the Club’s unused swimming pool.

The Club’s $23.5 million Believe & Become Campaign aims to nearly double the number of youth served and transform the neighborhood by renovating the current outdated buildings with a state-of-the-art facility. Lt. Gov. Driscoll toured the Club’s new food truck, which will address food insecurity, the expanded kitchen that will be able to serve 450 members a day and the foundation of the new Teen Center addition and classrooms, which will allow the Club to serve more than double the number of teens.

Kemigisa talking (L to R): Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll, Executive Director Joe Hungler, City Manager Tom Golden, UMass Lowell Chancellor Julie Chen, Club alum and UMass Lowell biomedical engineering student Kemigisa Adyeri


“There are so many good things happening here at the Boys & Girls Club and in Lowell, the way you’re driving the economy, providing educational opportunities, and supporting the next generation,” Lt. Gov. Driscoll said. “Our administration believes in the power of cities. And great cities don’t happen by accident. It takes intentionality, it takes commitment, and it takes people who care about the community who are all aligned towards a shared vision. And right now, I don’t think anyone is doing that better than Lowell.”

John Schwab, Chair of the Board of Trustees, informed the audience that the Believe & Become campaign is at a critical point, with the need to raise $4 million by July 31 to secure $1.5 million in pledges and keep construction on target. To date, the campaign has raised $13 million of the $23.5 million budget, which increased by more than $5 million due to rising costs from the pandemic and inflation.

“It is a big challenge, no doubt, but we are confident that our community and supporters will recognize that Believe & Become is about far more than a building and far more than the Boys & Girls Club,” Schwab said. “The impact of this initiative will have an immeasurable impact on our community’s education, health, and economic vitality over the next 100 years or more as we work together to change the future of a generation and seek to end generational poverty.”

Several current and former Club teens spoke to the Lieutenant Governor on the importance of their Boys & Girls Club in their own lives and in the community. Former Club member and Youth of the Year Yvonne Welsh shared her gratitude for the Boys & Girls Club and the importance of giving members a new, renovated space.

“I am so excited about the new space at the Boys & Girls Club because it opens up so much more opportunity for youth in Lowell to grow and learn and develop,” said Yvonne, who is graduating from Curry College as a commencement speaker, and is heading to Boston College to study for her master’s degree.

The Believe & Become project is transforming an aging facility and crumbling infrastructure into a modern learning center with sustainable and flexible program spaces. In addition to the café, highlights include an entirely new Teen Center that will accommodate programs for 250 teens each day, more than double the current capacity of 100. Expansion emphasizes the pathway and workforce development programs designed to support youth to graduate from high school and develop a plan for their future.

Executive Director Joe Hungler thanked Lt. Gov. Driscoll and the dozens of community leaders for taking time from their busy schedules to visit the Club and hear the update on the Believe & Become campaign.

“A project of this magnitude takes commitment and support from every aspect of our community—from education and economic development to philanthropic and public safety. We are so incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support for this effort to give our kids and teens the facility and programs they deserve,” he said. “We need a strong push to take this campaign to the finish line, and I’m confident we will get there. I cannot tell you how much it means to these kids and teens to know their community values them and believes in them.”