Merit Award for Program Excellence in the Education and Career Development Awarded to BGCA CEO

Deborah Fries-Jackson, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Allentown (Allentown, PA) receives the prestigious Merit Award for Program Excellence in the Education and Career Development Category for our Make Your M.A.R.K. Program from Elizabeth Fowlkes, Senior Vice President, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The award was recently presented during Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 112th National Conference in San Diego. Merit Awards for Program Excellence, are sponsored by MetLife Foundation and presented annually for outstanding programs developed and implemented to lead youth to great futures at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. Each honoree also receives a $2,500 award. Each year, hundreds of entries are submitted in the five core program areas: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness and recreation; as well as in the three overall program areas: Best Overall Program by organizational Budget (as it pertains to your Club’s annual budget amount) – less than $500,000 or more than $500,000; Best Overall Participation and Regular Attendance; and Innovations in Safety.

About Boys & Girls Club of Allentown

The Boys & Girls Club of Allentown provides program opportunities for 2,000 boys and girls each year. The Club is open five days a week. Parents interested in having their children join the Club and learn more about its youth programs can contact the organization at 610-432-9944 or visit

About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $570 million in grants to nonprofit organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. For more information visit