Boys & Girls Club Wausau offering after school programs to prepare students for future

The Workforce Development program is like applying for a job where kids have to fill out an application and go through an interview
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 8:06 AM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - As your students are back in the classroom, you may be looking for after-school activities for your kids. The Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area has interactive affordable programs that will make a difference in their lives.

Workforce Development helps kids figure out what they want to do in the future. Students get to participate in different workforce learning activities at the club. It’s like getting a traditional job. Students have to fill out an application and go through an interview. Some of the activities include helping in the kitchen, helping at the front desk, helping in the snack shack, among many others.

“Employers are always looking for experienced employees. So early [on], we can give those experiences to our members here. The earlier we can teach our members, those skills that employers are looking for, it will make them more of a likeable applicant,” said Tao Xiong, Workforce Development Director at Boys and Girls Club Wausau.

Xiong used to come to the club as a kid, and now he works there full time. He oversees workforce learning. Tao helps kids learn how to work through different experiences within the club. He is also in charge of finding guest speakers, and planning career tours to help kids find out what they want to do in life.

“I’ve always liked working with students. I always had mentors in my career path as well. So having a mentor is definitely very important to young students and then young members of the community because sometimes some of our members might not have the opportunity to have mentors in life,” said Xiong.

Tao asks his members every year what they would like to see at the club and where they would like to go. They have gone to places like the Grand Theatre and Kwik Trip to see behind the scenes. He also plans events that extend outside of the club. This is just one of their many programs kids can participate in. D.C. Everest Middle School students and Prairie River Middle students are sponsored for free this year. A regular membership is $20, and scholarship membership is $5. Family membership is $45 per family.

To find out more about the programs offered, click here.