Jazzie's Story: Renway Club Providing Great Futures
The Renton/Skyway Boys & Girls Club (aka Renway) has made a lifelong impact on a vivacious eleven-year-old named Jazzieriah (Jazzie) and her dedicated working mother. They were looking for a place close to home where Jazzie could go after school. Not knowing much about the Boys & Girls Club, Jazzie's mother, Cheryl visited the Renway Club and was impressed by the staff and programs. Initially the Club was full and Jazzie had to be placed on a waiting list. After a period of anxiously waiting to hear back, Club staff contacted the family when a spot opened up.
"We were excited for Jazzie to join the Club and the staff made the transition easy on us," said Cheryl. "Jazzie has been attending the Renway Club for six years. When I show up to get her early, she says she wants to stay longer, and asks that I come back later so she can do all the activities."
When Cheryl is at work she knows her child is having fun, learning, and being provided with programs and activities such as Power Hour and Marketplace. These programs teach Club members the value of money, a strong work ethic, time management, and to view homework as an opportunity to feel positive about their accomplishments.
This past summer, Club members visited colleges around Seattle, which was one of Jazzie's favorite parts of her summer break.
"I think what makes the Renway Club stand out is the people," said Cheryl. "Even when the Club has challenges they put the kids and families first. We know all Club staff by name because they have had such a huge impact on Jazzie."
"We decided to repay the Club's kindness through volunteering there," said Cheryl. "It's great that we can give back to the Club as they have given so much of their time to us."
Jazzie and her family volunteers for events, clean-up projects, and painting; Cheryl even joined the Club's Advisory Board. They feel the Club is part of their family. Jazzie's great-grandmother would visit and volunteer at the Club, and Club kids would often call her Grandma.
When it came time to buy a home, Cheryl chose a house near the Club. She explained it became apparent that they should stay in the area and be close to the Club. It's where Jazzie can be happy and safe.
"Renway is a great environment, with caring staff and wonderful educational and citizenship opportunities," said Cheryl. "Jazzie is growing up in the Club! I have seen her develop a sense of empowerment that she takes with her everywhere she goes. She is a leader, not a follower, who stands up for what is right. Without Renway, she could have missed out on that extra dose of confidence."