The beginning of the year kicks off an exciting time for our youth. It is when we get to showcase our outstanding Club teens from throughout the Tri-Cities and Prosser. One teen is selected to represent each of our Clubhouses as Youth of the Year.
"Growing up I never really had the luxury of choosing where I would stay," says Desiree, who spent a portion of her childhood in foster care. "However, the one choice I did have was having the opportunity to attend the Boys & Girls Club. That was the best choice I ever made."
Desiree, currently a senior at Pasco High, began attending the Main Branch Pasco Clubhouse when she was in the 4th grade. "Before I came to the Club, I was always mad and always making fun of kids because in my eyes being a kid was immature and acting like a kid was not allowed", she states. Being a foster child forced Desiree to grow up quickly and robbed her of the joy of being a kid.
At the Boys & Girls Club, Desiree found a group of caring staff members who believed in her and empowered her toward a more positive and productive outlook. As she's grown up in the Club, she states she has "... most enjoyed [her] time learning to serve." Desiree is an active community volunteer and especially loves helping in the kitchen and prepping dinner for other Club kids. She is also extremely active in sports, and a role model at her school.
This will be Desiree's final year as a "Club member" before becoming and alumni. As she thinks of graduating from the Club she says, "... it's hard to let go because I feel like the Club helped me grow, and I'm just thankful for the staff always being there when I needed them most."
At the Boys & Girls Clubs, we believe every teen deserves a safe place to belong and grow. We are glad Desiree found joy at the Club, because she has certainly brought us great happiness over the years. We are honored to name her as our Pasco Main Branch Youth of the Year!