Is it true that one decision can affect your entire future? Definitely! The day that changed my life was the day that I became a member of the Boys & Girls Club. Though I thought that I was just entering a place where I would spend time after school, I soon realized that I was seizing the opportunity to become so much more than I even knew was even possible.
I began attending the Boys & Girls Club when I was six. The local club had a cheerleading program and I became a cheerleader for the football team. Through cheerleading, I got the opportunity to travel and compete against other cheerleading squads. Eventually, the Saturdays I spent cheering for the team led me to join the afterschool program when I was eight.
When I was twelve, I joined the West Gastonia Boys & Girls Club. Almost immediately, I discovered that West Gastonia was the place for me. I’ve had so many great opportunities. For two summers, I spent a week in Raleigh working as a Senate Page to state legislators, which gave me the chance to meet the decision makers in my state. I also participated in many other programs, including leadership camps.
At West Gastonia, I learned how helpful volunteerism really can be. My experience tutoring a six-year-old in the Club who was unable to read helped spark an idea for a literacy program which I hope to put into effect: P.L.A.Y., which is an acronym for Promoting Literary Achievement in Youth. Also because of my volunteer work, I was selected to represent the Club as their Youth of the Year, and this past spring, I was named 1st runner up for North Carolina Youth of the Year.
Though I have a lot to do at the Boys & Girls Club, I am a student first. I keep my grades up by constantly striving for excellence. At the moment, I am number one in my class of about 254 students, and was named the Chief Marshal for the junior class. Leading the graduating class is a moment that I will treasure forever. I am not just a student, however; I also belong to many organizations. I am a member of the Red Cross Youth Council, Beta Club, and the National Honor Society. For the upcoming year, I will be the president of both the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council, and the student body. I have also been on the cheerleading squad at my school for my entire high school career.
My life is very busy, but the constant love and support from my family and the Boys & Girls Club keeps me going.