• Meet Club Alum Chayzée Smith

    My experience at the Keenan-Stahl Club taught me how to not only be great, but how to care about others along my journey.

    Picture3Chayzée Smith started attending our Keenan-Stahl Club at age 7. He recalls growing up in a neighborhood full of violence, drugs and poverty-level living. In order to keep from being bullied, Chayzée would leave home very early to head to school and afterschool, he’d rush home to avoid trouble. “I tried to stay after school to play basketball and table tennis, but the violence of the neighborhood always found its way into the afterschool program,” said Chayzée. After seeing his struggles, a teacher told Chayzée’s mother about the Boys & Girls Clubs.

    Today, he is grateful that his teacher recommended the Club and feels that, in many ways, the Club saved his life. “The Club allowed me to go everyday without the fear of judgment or feeling like I was in physical danger,” he said.

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    Over his 11-year time as a Club kid, Chayzée took advantage of everything the program had to offer. From arts and crafts to tutoring, to being a peer counselor, receiving a college scholarship, getting homework help, playing on his first basketball team, and more. “As I got older, I joined the Keystone Club (a community service group for teens at the Clubs),” said Chayzée. “The Club developed my character, gave me a sense of purpose, and motivated me to be great.”

    Today, he is helping young people as a counselor for the MSD Pike Township Elementary Schools. “My experience at the Keenan-Stahl Club taught me how to not only be great, but how to care about others along my journey,” said Chayzée. “The Club taught me about who I really was and the great impact that I could have on the world.”

  • Meet Club Teen Jeffery Hunt, 18

    When I come after school, the staff asks me how my day was and how I’m doing. These questions help me realize how important I am at the Club.

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    Jeffery, has been a Wheeler-Dowe Club kid for more than 10 years. Now, at age 18, he is the 2015 Indiana State Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year; number 10 in his high school class; and a leader at his Club.

    At a very young age, he’s had to run from gang violence and witnessed neighboorhood crimes. For him, the Club is a second home where he knows the staff truly cares.

    Jeffery gets help with his homework during PowerHour and has received college scholarships through the Taco Bell Graduate For Más program and Boys & Girls Clubs. He plans to major in computer science and has already been accepted into several universities.

    “Overall, I have been blessed with the opportunity to escape my neighborhood and attend the Wheeler-Dowe Club,” said Jeffery. “Through the Club, I have gained the hope of becoming a successful person.”