Boys & Girls Club building

The Boys & Girls Club of Mankato, 709 S. Broad St., now operates under the name MY Place, which stands for "Mankato Youth Place." 

MANKATO — The Boys & Girls Club of Mankato will have a new name to reflect its independence as a nonprofit.

The after-school and summer club for area youth will now be known as MY Place, standing for “Mankato Youth Place.”

The name change marks the end of the nonprofit’s affiliation with the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester, which helped pilot Mankato’s club since it opened in fall 2018.

Director Erin Simmons said MY Place will otherwise retain the same location, programming and target audience as the club had. She thanked the Rochester club for its support bringing resources for youth to Mankato.

“We are just grateful to Rochester for offering the help and support to get us up and running and launched,” she said.

Board Chair Les Koppendrayer said in a release the nonprofit exceeded its goals so far and is having a “profound impact on youth.” The release adds the board is taking the next step to become an independent organization.

The club’s 2018 opening at 709 S. Broad St. came after years of work finding a location and fundraising. Stakeholders secured the old St. John’s Parish Life Center, which already had classrooms, to convert into the club.

The organization’s school session programming, going from 2:45 to 7 p.m., began last week with 76 registered children. Its summer program drew about 45 children on average, Simmons said.

The school program running through June 4 requires no cost, but families do have to register their children to participate. MY Place offers homework help, art, drama, music, games and other activities.

It also partners with other area nonprofits on further programming for its members, including YMCA STRIDE, the University of Minnesota Extension, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.

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