Aaron’s, a national sales and leasing company, performed its 60th refresh of a Boys & Girls Club center at the Boys & Girls Club of Troy May 23.

Aaron’s, a national sales and leasing company, performed its 60th refresh of a Boys & Girls Club center at the Boys & Girls Club of Troy May 23.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

Teens surprised by improvements to Troy Boys & Girls Club

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published June 7, 2023


TROY — The youths at the Boys & Girls Club of Troy got a surprise May 23: an upgrade to the facility’s teen room complete with new video game systems, computers, games and furniture.

The upgrades were the result of a grant from Aaron’s, a nationwide sales and leasing company that has a longstanding partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of America. This was the 60th upgrade they have done inside one of the organization’s youth centers.

“We have a commitment to the Boys & Girls Club for the next few years. We’ve been doing all kinds of things for them. This is our 60th refresh of a Boys & Girls Club center. It’s to give the boys and girls here a safe environment here and a positive place to go and study and do things after school,” said Jerry Moog Jr., a Detroit regional manager for Aaron’s. “Hopefully, this won’t only make sure kids keep coming back, but they’ll spread the word and bring other kids from the Troy area in.”

The club’s administrators said the upgrades were much needed and will go a long way in ensuring kids keep coming back.

“Aaron’s nationally partners with the Boys & Girls Club of America, and we got to apply for a grant from them. We got selected after sending in our application, and we are thrilled,” said Jim Adams, the Boys & Girls Club of Troy’s club director. “Our building is about 17 years old, so this is our first major renovation that we’ve undergone. We were looking for an opportunity to refresh the teen space. Through that, we were able to empower them a bit in directing what decisions we were making and letting them tell us what kind of things they wanted to see added here.”

The teens at the Boys & Girls Club of Troy even got to provide suggestions for what kind of improvements they wanted to see.

“Coming out of COVID, we were looking for new ways to engage our teens, and this was a great way to allow them to provide input,” said Adams.

The improvements were installed May 22 and were unveiled to the teens after school May 23. Among them was Chris Rowland, a sophomore at Troy High School.

“It’s amazing to see what they’ve done,” Rowland remarked. “It transformed a lot from what it used to be. It’s a lot nicer. … A lot of my suggestions got taken with the computers they added. The whole room is amazing. I can’t choose a favorite part.”

Moog said this was part of Aaron’s nationwide efforts to be part of the communities in which they are located.

“We also have local initiatives that each local business takes part in with what we call ‘ACorp’ funds,” Moog remarked. “They each use that funding to help specific groups or projects in the community. This can be supporting battered women’s shelters, hosting football camps for teens, running coat drives and so forth.”

He added that the Boys & Girls Club funds are a separate program from ACorp, since it is a corporate-led initiative that helps Boys & Girls Club centers across the country.

Other improvements, such as new paint and carpeting, were installed in the weeks leading up to Aaron’s delivery and installation of the new resources.

“On May 1, we shut the room down so we could paint the walls and replace the carpet. We put covers on the windows so the kids couldn’t see what we were doing in there. They were champing at the bit to see what was going in,” said Adams. “It was being used as our teen room before, but it had gotten old. The carpet needed replacing. The resources we had in there were getting older. We needed new paint. I think getting to upgrade to the new PS5 and the new Xbox system are upgrades the kids will love. I think they will like the new furniture too.”

The new resources are designed to better allow the teens to both work and have fun.

“We’re bringing in computers and game systems and desks for them to work on,” said Moog. “There are televisions we’re putting on the walls. It’s all a space for them to enjoy and encourage them to keep coming back and spending time here.”

“It’s going to be a safe and positive place for teens to be after school and in which we can run after-school and summer programs,” Adams added. “With what Aaron’s is giving us, we’re going to have top-of-the-line electronics in there, new furniture, games and decorations. It will just be a nice space for us to run programs out of and expand our programs.”

Rowland said that these changes will be a huge improvement to the facility.

“It should allow the teens to get close together. This is a more comfortable space for us. It’s easier for the new 13-year-olds to come in and learn what we’re about instead of just basing it all on what they’ve heard about the club,” he said. “Since my sister and I moved to Troy four years ago, this club has been a part of my daily life both during the summer and after school. … I’ve always had fun and I’ve made a lot of new friends here. It’s a great place to be.”

Adams said he hopes people in Troy will use this as an opportunity to come in and check out the Boys & Girls Club of Troy.

“We’re right here on John R, one of the biggest streets in Troy, and we hear people always saying to us, ‘I drive by that place all the time. What’s going on?’” he remarked. “We encourage people to stop by, check us out, maybe see if it’s something they want to help out at or if it’s a place a kid ages 6-18 may want to be a part of.”

More information on the Boys & Girls Club of Troy is available at www.bgctroy.org.