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The Friendship Club

the friendship club logo

The Friendship Club has helped almost 1,000 girls since starting in 1995. Our comprehensive, long-term program is open to girls between the ages of 10 and 18 and provides assistance into their 20s as they transition to adulthood. The Friendship Club serves more than 100 youth every year, providing year-round academic, social and emotional support in individual and group settings – and ensuring basic needs, such as access to health care and healthy meals, are available.

Much has changed during the past 25 years, but our commitment has never been stronger.

Our programs are offered at no cost to youth or their families. We provide youth with continued opportunities for connection, education and support to create a strong foundation and overcome obstacles. Our girls’ needs are greater than ever, from anxiety and depression to family trauma and isolation.

Our program

after school programs nevada county

Education is the foundation for future success, and The Friendship Club has after-school programs with girls in same-grade cohorts. The girls get help with their homework, learn life skills and spend time with other girls, mentors and staff. Our after-school program is educational, enlightening and entertaining.

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The program helps meet the needs of youth, from a healthy meal and access to health care to a safe home. Nutrition and cooking classes, mindfulness and stress reduction are cornerstones of wellness. We also connect youth to mental health services and our peer-helpers.

the friendship club career and college readiness

From first day with the Friendship Club, we work with girls to set future goals and discuss the importance of learning and education, including college and career technical education/vocational training. Starting in 6th grade, girls get the opportunity to visit colleges in person as part of the program. We help them apply to colleges and for scholarships and grants – and The Friendship Club offers a scholarship that can be renewed annually up to four years. We also assist girls who prefer to attend trade schools rather than community college or a four-year university. The girls also learn about different careers from guest speakers in the area.

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Our summer program and Camp Friendship allow girls to develop relationships, experience the importance of team building and learn new skills. But, most importantly, girls are challenged and learn what they can accomplish. Bright Futures for Youth covers costs for camps and other summer activities.

mentors volunteer nevada county

The Friendship Club is all about community, from donors and volunteers investing their money and time – and quite often both – to our girls learning new skills and helping other nonprofits in the region. Volunteers donate an estimated 4,000 hours to the organization per year, and three-fourths of our annual budget comes from donations from individuals and small businesses.

From the Founder of The Friendship Club

Mary Collier, founder of the Friendship Club

“When I founded The Friendship Club in 1995 as a grassroots program serving girls in our rural county, I could only dream that the organization would be where it is today. Without the help of the community it never would have happened. Now Bright Futures for Youth will have a broader positive impact, changing the lives of girls and boys in Nevada County. What began as a small program to help girls stay in school has seen the community come together to ensure our youth reach their potential to lead healthy, fulfilling and purposeful lives.”

— Mary Collier

Interested in learning more about The Friendship Club?

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