How a Duck Teamed with the Boys and Girls Club to Help Teens

In just about every aspect of a child’s life, they need positive role models to be successful. What a lot of us forget is that this really goes for children of all ages and backgrounds. Kids face very different challenges in every stage of their life, and if they don’t have the right people guiding them, they’ll quickly find trouble.

Providing leadership to kids is foundation of what the Boys and Girls Club of Emerald Valley does. When it comes to education, fitness, life skills, career building, and exploring creative outlets, they work tirelessly to steer kids through the challenges they’re bound to face. What’s amazing about the Boy and Girls Club is that the kids aren’t the only ones who benefit, the volunteers do too. We asked the Boys and Club of Emerald Valley to tell us a story about how their organization is helping children in Lane County, and they told about how one of their volunteers (who happens to be a star linebacker for the University of Oregon football team) used the Boys and Girls Club to help boys learn what it takes to become a man. Here’s the story from the Club:

This fall, University of Oregon football standout Michael Clay chose to spend his senior internship at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Emerald Valley. Michael was trained and given the opportunity to run “Passport to Manhood” for his senior project. “Passport to Manhood” is a fourteen-week group class that covers different risks and societal issues that young teens face. Youth Club member, Raphael, joined the “Passport to Manhood” group, but was unsure if he really wanted to participate. Michael talked with Raphael about positive male role models and what it can mean to be a man, concepts that were new to Raphael (who was coming from a very challenging home life). With Michael’s mentoring through the group, Raphael has now spread the word to his peers about how much he enjoys “Passport to Manhood” and has recruited other members to participate in the group. Raphael has taken on increased responsibility around the Club and demonstrates leadership qualities that he didn’t know he had. 

When asked about his experience with “Passport to Manhood,” Michael said, “Watching the progression that the young men make from week to week makes me excited to see where the next week’s discussion will go. Every week, the young men who participate get to experience a positive group dynamic and they grow as individuals. It is amazing to see these group members respond to another member’s question or concern. It shows that they understand what they are covering as well as caring for another member’s issues.”

“Passport to Manhood” empowers males age 11-14 to take control of their lives and become positively involved in their families and communities long after they complete the program. Mentors like Michael Clay make it all possible.

If you’d like to support the Boys and Girls Club of Emerald Valley, just sign up for the Civil War Healthy Life Challenge. If you pledge to take part in a healthy activity, PacificSource will donate $1 on your behalf to the Boys and Girls Club.

Click here to learn more about the club and to see a video of Michael Clay working with kids.

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1 Comment

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