July's Youth of the Month!
July 22nd, 2015
Our Youth of the Month (YOM) program spotlights a Club member who truly represents the mission of our Clubs. Staff will decide on a YOM based on their involvement in different activities and behavior. It is a program that helps to build our participation in the national Youth of the Year program.
Congratulations to JULY's Youth of the Month Winners:
Steil Club (Elementary): Calvin
Why Staff Selected Calvin: Calvin participates in every activity and dresses up for theme weeks. He is helpful and kind. He includes everybody and is friendly to new members.
Steil Club (Teen): Cameron
Why Staff Selected Cameron: Cameron is a great example for the kids in our Club. He is respectful. He is involved in programs and comes to the Club every day.
Paul I. Phillips Club: Jeremiah
Why Staff Selected Jeremiah: He is always a friendly and helpful presence around the Club. We all agreed that he is one of the nicest and kindest members at Paul I. Phillips!
Seidman Club: Alaisha
Why Staff Selected Alaisha: This Club member is a great example of what it takes to be a leader. She helps out at the Club without having to be asked. Alaisha just returned from Aurora, Illinois where she attended a workshop on how to make a movie. Alaisha is the type of member that we want to represent the Seidman Boys & Girls Club.
New POWER UP Program and Luncheon
July 20th, 2015
P.O.W.E.R. U.P. (Providing Opportunities for Women to Empower young women to Realize their Unique Potential) came to life last fall when Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids' board member Michelle Wickens approached the Clubs' Director of Programming about creating a program to inspire young women to reach for their dreams and realize that they are beautiful and capable if they believe in themselves.
This year, with the support of local sponsors and Boys & Girls Club staff members, Michelle's dream became a reality.
On July 14th, nine female Club members (ages 14 and up) participated in the first P.O.W.E.R. U.P. Luncheon. The girls underwent a selection process in which they had to write an essay about what made them feel beautiful, to highlight that beauty comes in many forms not just superficially. The essays had to answer these three things: 1) Describe someone who is beautiful. 2) What characteristics do they have? 3) What makes you feel beautiful?
The nine young women selected took part in an amazing day of beauty, etiquette, and shopping/budgeting education thanks to Crown Jewel Spa and Salon of Ada, Cumulus Radio, Todd Wenzel Automotive, and Amway. The day ended with lunch at The River House in Ada where the girls heard from positive role models within the community who have come from backgrounds comparable to theirs. This year's luncheon keynote speakers were Eva Aguirre Cooper, Community Affairs Director at WOOD TV 8, and Candace Matthews, Regional President of the Americas at Amway. They discussed overcoming life's challenges, following their dreams, and never giving up.
"These young women have challenging futures ahead of them, and it's important for them see that people from backgrounds similar to theirs have done astounding things with their lives," said Michelle. "I started this program to show them that it is not about a pretty face or what labels are on your clothes. It is about self-confidence and the beauty that comes from within when you believe in yourself. I always tell them that they are responsible for writing their own story, so they better make sure it's a good one."
Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids plans to implement this program annually and hopes to grow it into something making even more of a difference in the lives of their teenage female Club members. If they are able to secure the funding, they would eventually love to add a scholarship portion to the P.O.W.E.R. U.P. program.
For more information about this program, please email Erin Crison at email@example.com.
To see more photos from this year's event, please click here!
Congrats to our Summer Staff ROCK STARS!
July 4th, 2015
We're starting a new tradition at Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids! Each week of summer, we will be celebrating the “Rock Star” staff at each of our three Clubs. These are staff members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Please help us take the time to recognize them for being such Youth Development Rock Stars!
Paul I. Phillips: Andrew Otten
Seidman: Jessica Faleni
Steil: Ashley Copier
Paul I. Phillips: Taurean Pruitt
Seidman: Brad Whitby
Steil: Katrina Beals
Paul I. Phillips: Deborah Carroll
Seidman: Jessica DeVries
Steil: Tim Suggs
Check back for our future Rock Star winners!
The Jungle Book!
July 1st, 2015
On Friday, June 26th, we had the pleasure of taking 24 Club Members to see The Jungle Book at Circle Theatre. To add even more to the trip, two of our Performing Arts staff had parts in the play! The kids loved seeing staff performing on stage. The show was performed on a wonderful set that had multiple platforms and even ropes that the cast would swing from.
The story of Mowgli, the human baby raised by a pack of wolves in the jungle was new to some of our members, while some had seen the Disney movie. Cast members had masks and costumes so we would know what type of jungle animal they were, from the wolves to Baloo the bear, Shere Khan the tiger (played by Club Staff Titus Hankins) and more. The cast was very engaging and members commented afterward that they enjoyed watching Mowgli find his identity and gain confidence, ultimately realizing he could find common ground in more than one culture.
After the show, Club members met the cast in the lobby and had their programs autographed. On the way back to the Clubs, a few members expressed excitement at the thought of being in a play one day. It brought smiles to all of our faces to see young people dream and imagine exciting futures for themselves. Great futures start here, indeed.