I entered the doors of Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club approximately five years ago. Since then, the club has impacted my life greatly. I looked forward to going to the club after school every day to hang out with my friends, and enjoy the many fun activities provided. Suddenly, I found myself being influenced by the wrong crowd. In school, began to act up and hang out with negative people that encouraged and joined in with my destructive behavior. Soon enough, I brought that negative behavior and those negative friends to my clubhouse. I was eventually suspended a couple of times. I returned to Kips Bay a year later and was given a second chance. I was offered many exciting trips that I really wanted to take part in. Whether big or small, the trips were fun and taught me responsibility. My attitude began to change and shift towards a more positive direction. Attending Kips Bay kept me out of trouble and from hanging out in the streets with the wrong people. The club provided me with a comfortable, stable, and healthy environment.
Kips Bay’s Summer Youth Employment Program provided me with my first job, which was in the summer day camp. This had to be one of the most dramatic turning points for me. I began to mature greatly as a result of the true responsibility I was given. Having the opportunity to work with young kids gave me a new outlook on life. I became more caring, focused, and gained a sense of independence by earning my own money. At the end of camp I was hired and am going into my third year as a part-time employee at my clubhouse. In September of 2009 another great opportunity came my way when I was introduced to performing arts and began dancing for K-Company, which offered me many new opportunities from learning many new dance styles to traveling and performing in front of big crowds.
Instead of being a negative influence, I now motivate my peers to live positive lives and be examples for others. My Kips Bay has taught me that when you do good, good things happens to you and for you. Joining Kips Bay is definitely a great decision. You are introduced to amazing peers, adults, and activities. You just have to grab, appreciate, and take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that will come your way at the Boys & Girls Club.