Inspire & enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible & caring citizens.
In early September of 2009, Lina Borges stepped through the doors of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield for the first time in hopes of finding new friends and a place to call home afterschool. Not knowing a word of English, she was terrified, but determined to build a new life.
“After coming here from Puerto Rico and not having many friends or extended family, it was really nice to have a place that I could call a second home, get to know people, and share experiences with,” said Lina.
Her commitment and dedication to her academics made her learn the language quickly, and she has excelled ever since. “The drive that I had to speak English really made me learn the language better,” said Lina. Since then, Lina has learned four languages. In her junior year at Westfield High School Lina was inducted into the National Honor Society.
Lina is a shining example of how Great Futures truly start HERE, at the Boys & Girls Club. This year, Lina received the honor of being named the 2013 Youth of the Year, a program at the Club that promotes and celebrates member’s service.
Lina has not only followed her dreams academically, but she has also learned to give back. She has dedicated over 100 hours of service to the Club and her involvement has been inspiring to those around her.
Lina fondly recalls a motivational conversation she had with Boys & Girls Club Teen Coordinator Jose Roman: “He asked me what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My answer was ‘I want to become a dolphin trainer,’ and I laughed. He asked why I was laughing, and all I said was, ‘it’s just a dream, Jose, it’s not going to happen.’”
But with Roman's encouragement to “stop thinking that way because you can do anything you set your mind to,” Lina was inspired to dream big.
Lina believes, “That’s the kind of guidance that this world needs,” she said. “Teens need one person to be by their side, telling them they can do it and believing in them every step of the way.”
“Lina has the will and determination of someone who has lived a lot longer than her 17 years. She has the ability to conquer any obstacle in her way. She is a true example of what it means to ‘strive for the best’. Lina will not settle for anything less than her best,” said Kellie Brown, Director of Operations. “That is why there is no doubt in my mind that Lina will become a productive adult in the field of her choice and that she will somehow make a difference”.
Today we are asking you to help us ensure more children like Lina get their start toward Great Futures at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield. By making a financial contribution to the Club, you can help a child find their passion, perfect their skills and increase their self-confidence to head down a path of greatness.
It just takes one person to help a child’s dreams come true. We hope you will join us in creating Great Futures through a financial contribution to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield.