Being the only boy with a single mom and two older sisters, there wasn’t anyone I could talk to from a male perspective. My mom worked full-time as a patient-care technician at a local hospital, and she had a part-time job. She worked hard to pay the bills and keep the utilities on, so a lot of time she was not around.
She decided to enroll my sister and me in the neighborhood Boys & Girls Club. It was located about 10 blocks from our home in Indianapolis. I would get out of school, come home and change clothes; then my sister and I would go to the club. There I would do homework and go to computer or art lab. There were tutors on hand — five or six people at various stations throughout the club. They were always there to help, whether you needed math assistance or pointers on your jump shot. There was this one man — I don’t remember his name, but if I was acting out, he would get me back in line. He answered my questions and was always helpful. It was great to have another man who understood what I was going through. He connected with me.
Today, at 23, I have an even deeper appreciation for Boys & Girls Club. It’s why I volunteer with WorldVentures Foundation™. I got a chance to volunteer for a club in Louisville, Kentucky, painting, cleaning and organizing things. It felt so good to help, and it touched me on so many levels. There is no telling where I would be if I had never gone to the club. I would never have had a chance. Boys & Girls Club gave me a safe place. I want every child to have that experience.