Go Orange Team!

 

Zayris "Zuno"

Club Member

Zuno is 17, and was recently named BGCEC's Youth of the Year. His favorite thing to do is play football. He finds happiness in music and reaching his goals. He has career plans to be a General Contractor, but his dream career is to be in the NFL. Bora-Bora is at the top of his "places to see" bucket list.

Det. Brandon Roundtree

Mentor

All About Me!

Here's where you can get to know all about me! Check back often - as the event gets closer, more of my story will be available.

It was late October 2014 when I moved to Indiana with my mom and younger brother, looking for a better life. We all shared a bedroom in my aunt’s apartment. Trying to adapt to the new culture, I became everybody. I became whomever I was around at the moment. I was never around kids my age, they were always older than me. I was trying to fit in so hard, it even got to the point where I started doing drugs and drinking alcohol. I was able to disguise my age because I was almost 6 feet tall. Due to the fact that my mom worked the night shift at a factory and slept during the day, she was blind to the situation. After a while, I finally started to open up to my peers. They persuaded me to become a member at the Boys & Girls Club, which was honestly one of the best choices I made my whole life. At first, I didn’t really do anything, it took almost a whole year before they started to thin my bubble.

Toward the end of my 7th grade year, the Boys & Girls Club really started to make an impact on me. Two staff members in particular, Miss Dee and Mr. Q., saw something in me that I didn’t even know existed. They saw a leader. Without me realizing it, they started helping me build my leadership skills. They saw that I was honest, able to influence people, committed, diligent, and that I had the ability to communicate. They showed me that I have the qualities of a leader.

Now that I realize the power I have as a leader, I try to use that to make a positive impact on my community. Using those qualities, I’ve earned Youth of the Week and Youth of the Month at Boys & Girls Club several times. But it’s not all about me; I try to share my skills with other Club members so we can make the world a better place.

At the Club, I try to encourage my peers to think positively about certain activities that some of them don’t like, like doing homework or activities that may be outside of their comfort zone. I also get them to go along with me to volunteer during their free time. I’ve volunteered at Buffalo Wild Wings, welcoming guests so they could have a pleasant experience, and at Faith Mission, our local homeless shelter, helping pack book bags with school supplies. I really like helping at Faith Mission because it helps bring our Club teens together and it shows our teamwork.

My top favorite volunteer trip is to Riverside Village nursing home. I love interacting with the elders. I feel that I pick up a lot of wisdom and knowledge from them. When I’m with them it seems that age is really just a number. I laugh and joke around with them like they’re my peers. I truly believe they are my friends. I even try to use my leadership skills that I learned at the Club when I am outside of the Club. This past football season at Elkhart Memorial High School our head coach said “This was the best team I’ve coached since I’ve been coaching at Elkhart Memorial High School.” I believe that the leadership skills I bring to the field from the Boys & Girls Club have rubbed off onto my teammates. We have made it his best season, and there will be even better ones to come.

A small step I took back in the beginning of 7th grade turned my life to a completely different direction than it had been going. I found a place and a purpose in my life that has pushed me out of my shell and onto a path to be a leader and role model. I believe that the Club has helped me grow and move forward to a successful, bright future.

Thanks to the Club members who invited me and the staff who cared about me, I have a place to go where I feel at home and I can grow as a leader and as a person. My Boys & Girls Club experience has really been life-changing, and I now want to have that kind of positive impact on young peoples’ lives, as well.

My Club Program

Leadership - Developing 21st Century Leaders

These programs help youth become responsible, caring citizens and acquire skills to participate the democratic process. Program participants also develop leadership skills and gain opportunities for planning, decision-making, contributing to Club and community and celebrating our national heritage.

Torch Club
Torch Clubs are chartered, small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11 to 13. A Torch Club is a powerful vehicle that helps Club staff meet the special character development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their life.

Youth of the Year
Youth of the Year is our premier recognition program. It is our signature effort to foster a new generation of leaders, fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global and integrated world economy.

Keystone Clubs
Keystoning is the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s ultimate teen program for youth ages 14 to 18. This unique program provides leadership development opportunities for youth to participate in activities, both in and out of the Club, in three focus areas: academic success, career preparation and community service. With the guidance of an adult advisor, Keystone Clubs aim to positively impact teens, their Club and local communities.

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