The Club Experience
Boys & Girls Clubs fill the gap between school and home. We provide welcoming, positive environments in which kids and teens have fun, participate in life-changing programs, and build supportive relationships with peers and caring adults.
“Love should be our religion; humanity should be our race,” says Aysia, the 2016 Youth of the Year. A member of the Club for over eight years, the young woman who walks through the Club doors now, is a far cry from the shy and self-conscious girl who first pushed them open.
“Have you ever felt like you were in a world all alone? Have you ever felt that something about you kept you from fitting in with others?”, Aysia says. “This is how I felt before becoming a member of the Boys & Girls Club. Being the oldest child in a single-parent home, I had to mature early and help my Mom raise my sister. It wasn’t easy finding a balance of being a child at heart , and being that responsible child needed around the house. Also, it wasn’t easy being myself. I was always smaller than the other kids in school. Therefore, the bigger kids began to taunt and bully me. Not only was I bullied because of my size, I was teased and bullied because I didn’t have the same clothes or shoes as everyone else. The bullying occurred for a long time. Eventually, I learned to deal with it, but my confidence and self-esteem were shattered. Shortly thereafter, my Mom and I visited the Boys & Girls Club. Due to all the bullying I experienced from other kids, I didn’t think I would like it. However, after one day, I knew the Club was the place to be.”
Aysia immediately began to participate in the Club’s programs such as Power Hour (homework assistance), SMART Girls and SMART Moves. She says, “It was SMART Girls sessions that facilitated the change in me. The sessions taught me how to be confident, build self-esteem and love self. I learned to ‘Be Great in Being Me’.“
“I honestly believe that joining the Boys & Girls Club was the greatest decision my Mom and I ever made. Everyday, I’m greeted by a pleasant staff or volunteer who demonstrates a genuine concern for my well-being. I never thought I could be in a place with so many kind faces and positive attitudes. Since being a member, my life has changed drastically. I once felt alone, but now I feel complete and comfortable in being myself. I am now a strong, young woman with a clear vision for my future,” Aysia concluded.
Impact Report -BCG of North Mississippi