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LLBO to merge programs

CASS LAKE -- The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Leech lake Area have joined together.

Under a memorandum signed Aug. 1, the LLBO will merge its youth programs into the Boys & Girls Club of the Leech Lake Area.

The Clubs remain nonprofit but now also will function under the LLBO's government structure, ensuring youth services retrain access to direct and ancillary services and resources, according to a press release announcing the partnership.

"Merging the Boys and Girls Club youth development model and the Band's strong cultural programming will create a single focused effort," the press release stated. "Youth development is a priority, eliminating duplication of programming, bringing together the strengths of both organizations will help expand services and impacts. The work that we do under this agreement will become a model for youth development and program delivery in tribal and rural communities."

The merger will result in a single, coordinated delivery model offering transportation and facility-based programming, cultural integration, and a comprehensive youth development professional training program for staff.

"We want our staff to look at youth development as careers, not just a job," the release stated "Trained and certified youth development professionals will elevate and reflect the real value and the critical work of these professionals whose work affects so many young lives and areas of society."