Burlington Boys and Girls Club receives $1 million donation - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington Boys and Girls Club receives $1 million donation

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BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Boys and Girls Club of Burlington has received the largest donation in the history of the organization and now that money is helping kids continue their education.

Students who have called the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington their second home got some big gifts Monday.

"It shows to me that I can do anything I want in life," said Aden Haji, Burlington High School Graduate.

Aden has been coming to the club for six years. He's one of seven club kids to get a $2,000 scholarship. Aden says it will make all the difference as he prepares to study sociology at Castleton State College.

"If I set goals and get help at places such as the Boys and Girls Club, anything is possible," said Haji.

Many of the kids are the first in their families to go to college.

The Pomerleau family donated $1 million to make the scholarships possible. The money will also fund a tutor center for kids at the club.

Kabura Onesima came to the United States from Congo in 2008 and with the help of this scholarship, hopes to study mechanical engineering.

"I'm just ready to get the heck out of here and go to UVM," said Onesima.

The seven recipients of the Pomerleau Scholarship are graduates of the club's early Promise Academic Program and will all be college freshmen in the fall.

"The outstanding donation just made my life much easier, I want to attend college and just continue my education," said Onesima.

"It's going to come in over a period of 10 years and it's going to help us pay for our program and help us support our kids with scholarships," said Mary Alice McKenzie, Boys and Girls Club executive director.

The high school graduates also received sound advice from self-made real estate mogul Tony Pomerleau as they get ready for college life.

"It's out there, and all you kids here are just as bright as I was and I wasn't very bright so you just keep on going. Do what you like and it's out there if you wanna make it," said Pomerleau.

The young men say the money is just one more reminder of the impact the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington has had on their lives.

"You don't take a step without them, they want to get you there, help you to get there and in turn they want you to give back," said Onesima.

On Monday the club also unveiled its new name, The Pomerleau Family Boys and Girls Club. The money will help fund the early promise program, a cost of $250,000 a year as well as provide scholarships to students who graduate from the program.

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