Getting involved with the Boys and Girls Club changed my life. When my parents were married, one of them was always home and would pick me up from school. However, after my parents’ divorce, I went to live with my mom. She was working two jobs just to make ends meet. We feared that I was going to be alone for hours after school but we saw a flyer for the Murray Boys and Girls Club. The flyer listed a ton of activities and programs that looked exciting so we decided to go take a look and see what it was all about.
Without the Boys and Girls Club I would not be alive today. I was going though some hard times at home and in school. Several members of my family were involved in near-fatal incidents: my dad was hospitalized and nearly died 7 or more times and my mom and my sisters were involved in a roll-over car accident. Also, I was stressed out by my parents’ divorce, which dragged on with a lot of fighting back and forth between them. All of these things combined with the average stresses of teenage life made me decide that life wasn’t worth living any more.
One day, I left a suicide note on a Club staff member’s desk and went home. Not more than a couple of hours later, two Club staff members and a police officer were at my house to stop me from taking my life. They found me help and the two Club staff members were always available to listen to me and discuss my problems with me. This is just one of the major experiences that shaped my life at Boys and Girls Club and made me who I am.
My afterschool program gave me the skills that I needed to be successful. It provided me with a positive place to be with caring people and it helped me develop my talents and skills in public speaking, construction/repair, fundraising, volunteering, leadership and more. The program staff provided me with stability and acceptance. I know that I have a second home and a place where I belong. The Club staff members care about me and my success in life.
Today, I’m a licensed real estate sales agent and a licensed life, health and accident insurance agent. I am also a community organizer for Disabled Rights action Committee and ADAPT. I still stay involved with the Boys and Girls Club and do what I can to give back.