• Javier

    My name is Javier, and I want to share with you why the Club is so important for me and other young people in my community in the Bronx.

    I have been a member at the Columbus Clubhouse since I was 6 years old and now, as a 14 year old young man, I understand why my mom chose to have my brother and me go to the Clubhouse every day after school. As a freshman in high school, I see my classmates and friends who aren’t members of Madison Square Boys & Girls Club making all kinds of bad and sometimes dangerous decisions. I know that I don’t want to be like that and I am thankful to have a safe and fun place to go every day. During the past eight years, and specifically when I am with my Passport to Manhood group, I have learned what behaving like a man truly means: being respectful, keeping my hygiene on point, having manners, acting like a gentleman in public and voicing my opinions in a courteous way. I also try to bring my friends from school and my neighborhood to the Clubhouse with me after school. I always tell them that it will help them stay focused and out of trouble!

    Watch below for a day in Javier and our other members' shoes:

    Not only has being a member taught me how to be a young man, but it has also shown me that college is possible if I stay focused in school. The staff always tells us that we can do anything we put our mind to if we work hard enough and take advantage of all the amazing opportunities we have at Madison. Last year, the Club took a trip to a professional office, when we met with the marketing team I knew right then and there that I wanted to work in marketing some day! I know that I need to keep working hard in school, stay out of trouble, and be a gentleman to make sure that I get into college and become a marketing genius. Other kids in my neighborhood don’t get these opportunities like visiting a major corporation and because of that they don’t know that it’s possible to do anything if you work hard! I am so thankful to the Club for teaching me all of these important things!

    There are thousands of young women and men like me in the Bronx and in Brooklyn who need Madison Square Boys & Girls Club to become empowered, respectful, and productive citizens. The Club has taught me so much in the years I’ve been a member and I know that the Club can help so many others too!

    Help Madison continue to provide meaningful opportunities to our members—by donating to our spring appeal!

    Donate Now!

  • Walida's Journey

    Our 2015 Youth of the Year, shares her story:

    When I was very young my parents emigrated from Bangledesh to the United States. Living in the Farragut Projects in northwest Brooklyn, a community that suffers physical and economic isolation, my mother always made sure that my sister and I were okay.

    My mom knew our neighborhood was dangerous and wanted my sister and me to be in a safe place, which is why she sent us to Madison’s Navy Yard Clubhouse. Before coming to the Club, I was intimidated by the other kids at school and in the neighborhood. But the first time I stepped foot in the Club, I knew this was the place I wanted to be and it would be home. I met supportive mentors that pushed me to participate and helped me gain confidence in sharing my thoughts with other kids. My favorite mentor Derren, called me out when I shrank away from the spotlight. He encouraged me to make a new friend every day!

    Now, at the age of 17, I am a mentor for the younger kids in the Club. When I am helping them with reading, math and art I fondly remember my time as a little kid at the Club. I remember how shy I was in my early days and how encouragement from staff made me more confident and outgoing. I am no longer the quietest person in the room. I am not afraid to use my voice and encourage others! I have taken these skills and applied them to school, as an AP student and a member of the National Honor Society I know I am ready for college and I am confident that my dream of becoming a bio-chemist will become a reality.

    Families trust Madison Square Boys & Girls Club with the safety and guidance of their sons and daughters. My family trusted the Club and it transformed me into who I am today. I want to be a beacon of hope for all youth who grew up like me.

    You can help too – it’s easy – just make a gift. You will join me and be an inspiration for other young kids who desperately need the Club to help grow their confidence and see their dreams come true.

    During this season of giving thanks, I thank you in advance for your support and helping thousands of New York kids like me! 

    Donate Now!

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