Making sure that there is a safe, rewarding environment thanks to the Boys and Girls Club is not possible without you!
When I was in high school, I remember a staff member of the Boys and Girls Club of Syracuse coming to talk to us about volunteering with the club. I can’t tell you what it was, but I was drawn to the experience. My time was spent doing anything from helping with homework to playing basketball (which I was horrible at) to teaching computer skills.
This past year, I was able to begin working with the Boys and Girls Club again, this time in Rhode Island. I was asked to participate in the pilot of a mentoring program. I was paired to work with a nine year old boy named Xavier. Xavier was the youngest to participate in the program, but was certainly one of the kids who needed a mentor the most.
Having a troubled life at home where his father was absent,
and his mother publicly acknowledged she did not like Xavier as much as her three other children, Xavier was in need of a male role model. I worked with him throughout the year to ensure that he was keeping up with his schoolwork, treating others with respect, and continuing his positive development despite all of the trouble surrounding him. It sounds like big life lessons, but they were all accomplished building puzzles, doing art activities, and playing drums whenever we could.
I found this to be one of the most rewarding experiences I
have had. Xavier's passion and zest for life was infectious, and it was always a good day when I was able to spend a few hours with him.
Of course the past year was not always positive, as we dealt
with issues he had getting in fights in school, bullying, and a further breakdown of his support system at home. All of these hard times further increased my desire to be a part of his life, and to show him that he could overcome all that seemed to be against him.
Working with the Boys and Girls Clubs in two different
cities has showed me that despite the different locations, the need is the same to provide kids with a safe place to go where they will be respected, and provided the necessary care, attention, and added educational opportunities that only the Club can provide.
Creating this positive environment for kids in the Dorchester community is not possible without your support. Every gift, of every size, will help collectively reach my $5,000 goal to have an impact we all can be proud of.