We're inspired and motivated by stories like these, told by our members, about how the work we do has helped them grow. They are the heroes, and we work hard to give them what they need to thrive. Please consider making a donation today to help more youth in Greater Seattle realize their full potential through the Club Experience.
Meet our Youths of the Quarter: Spring 2020
Youth of the Quarter is a wonderful opportunity to recognize outstanding Club teens and come together for a night of good food and community building.
Youth of the Quarter winners are awarded by their Club staff, based on academic excellence, service & leadership, and healthy lifestyles. At the Mercer Island Club on Tuesday, March 3, eleven teens took the stage to accept their awards and tell their Club stories.
It's truly remarkable to hear about the Club's impact on our young people firsthand. Congratulations to all the winners, and a big thank you to their Club mentors who continue to nurture that development.
Mikel joined Keystone Club (community service group for high school students) at the Bainbridge Island Club with an invitation from his friend Leah (Bainbridge Island's 2019 Youth of the Year). Though he was skeptical when he first joined the Club, he's really grown to love it. He reflected: “Building Keystone gives me and my friends something that is ours to be proud of.”
A 13-year Club member, Sandro shared a powerful story about how his life trajectory was forever changed after a summer program run by staff member Don (who was in attendance) on film production. After finding inspiration from that summer program, Sandro joined a video production club at his middle school, placed into a selective Ballard school focused on his new interest, and attained professional internships in the film industry. At this point, he has seen his movies on the big screen, and recently has been accepted into six different film colleges. Sando appreciates that the Club introduced him to his love for film production and in general is always filled with people who are there, ready to help.
Destiny is excited about all Club programs — she wants to do everything! As a female wrestler, she's determined and strong. Destiny sees the Club as “a place I can grow, shine, and be myself.” She appreciates that at the Club, she's held to high standards and given responsibilities, contributing to her growth and confidence.
Ava is a volunteer, who remembers feeling nervous and overwhelmed when she first showed up at the Club. But she found the foosball table and immediately connected with youth over a shared love for games. She's made lots of friends and learned new games and skills, including chess. Now, she's excited to go to the Club on volunteer days. She reflected: “I wanted to make an impact on kids. Little do they know, they make a bigger impact on me.”
Aaron is extremely friendly and loves to greet new faces at the Club. He is autistic and gave a powerpoint presentation with help from Club mentor Danielle. Aaron loves to help around the Club, from handing out snack to helping with all the tech in the computer lab. He's especially interested in computer apps and robotics.
An 8th grader and 6-year Club member, Dennis is a quiet leader in Torch Club (community service groups for middle school students). He's made a lot of amazing people at the Club, and his favorite memory is a cooking class over summer.
A 6th grade student, Shravan has been attending the Club for 3 years. He was nervous to leave the elementary program but has made a lot of new friends in the older group. He especially enjoys helping younger members in chess. He's attended high school seminars in marketing and finance and led a number of activities for younger kids, with help and ideas from staff. He also enjoys sports and healthy snacks at the Club.
A 7-year Club member, Dannelle credits the Club with teaching her to have more confidence and patience through difficult situations. She has learned skills in customer service and money management through helping with the Club café. Every day she leaves the Club knowing she's loved and cared for. She appreciates having a safe place to go.
A 2-year member, Tatiana (Tati for short) has met a lot of people at the Club and has a lot of fun. When she has a bad day at school, she can always count on the Club to make her feel better. Tati is full of laughter and joy, lighting up the Club whenever she's there.
Mustafa grew up going to the Smilow Rainier Vista Club, doing lots of fun activities. Now, through YouthForce, he's gained volunteer and professional experience with organizations such as the Seahawks, Sounders, and Bikeworks.
Joshua has been a Club member since 3rd grade. He felt shy at the Club at first, following his older sister around. But when he in age-separated activities, he was forced to make his own friends. That's when he found his best friend for the next eight years. At the Club, Joshua has learned Magic the Gathering and joined Torch Club (community service group for middle school students). His favorite Torch Club activity was with the Green Lake Path of Lights, where the group collected and sorted food for the food bank. He made mistakes, learned from Club staff, and now is motivated to give back. Now he's in Keystone Club (community service group for high school students), where they do all sorts of fun community service activities. He appreciates that the Club helps set youth up on the right path.
As emcee and Wallingford Teen Director, Tré Beachamp closed out the night: “Laugh often, ask questions, never be afraid to speak your mind. Be inspired and inspire others. Be the change you want to see in the world. It's okay to fail. You get back up, and you try again. With every failure, there's something to learn.”
Thank you to all the families, friends, and staff who came to support these impressive young people. We couldn't be more proud to have you all as a part of our community.