Growing up I was not aware of the hardships my family faced. My parents struggled in their relationship, we had financial challenges and I grew up in a low income, stigmatized neighbourhood. Fortunately for me, I had a place in the neighbourhood that provided me with the support and a sense of belonging that I needed during those early years. The staff put in an amazing effort to connect with me and from age five to sixteen years old the Boys and Girls Club, which is funded by your United Way donations, became my second home.
As I grew in confidence and learned many new skills at the Club I decided this was a place I wanted to give back to. I was hired on to work at the Club, finished high school and graduated from the Child and Youth Work program at the College. I realized that I too could help kids through some of the difficult times they face in the real world. Providing support to help navigate through issues and having a good role model to become a leader were some of the helpful things I was given while growing up at the Club. Today, I am a Coordinator at the Club and I am dedicated to giving back to the kids by being someone they can trust and is true to their word and hopefully be someone who can make a difference in their lives too.