Meet Club Alum Chayzée Smith
Chayzée 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.
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.”