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Sugar House Journal

Sugar House Boys and & Girls Club revels in nationwide celebration by giving back

May 08, 2017 10h20 ● By Natalie Mollinet

Third- and 4thfourth- grade students at The Boys and & Girls Club helped clean up garbage in the parking lot next to their building. (Natalie Mollinet/\City Journals)

By Natalie Mollinet | [email protected]

During the week of March 26, The Boys & Girls Club of America celebrated Boys & Girls Club week. During the week, the students who attend the after-school club not only honored those who have helped them over the years, but gave back to the community.

At the Boys & Girls Club in Sugar House, the club and staff recognized and thanked Comcast for their funds and service in helping with the club, and in return, followed that example by giving back to the community.

On March 28, club members gathered in their gym and took a picture of themselves holding a sign they made for Comcast, thanking them for their contributions to the club. Comcast is responsible for the Wi-Fi in the club as well as their computer lab, which is used by the students. In return, Amanda Ree Hughes, the director of development for the Boys & Girls Club told the students how important it was to give back to their community, since their community, by example, had shown service to them.

“You guys are going into your community today, and you will be representing the Boys & Girls Club,” Hughes said. “Your community here and the community in Salt Lake really care about you and they want to give back to you.”

During the gathering, the club also congratulated one of their own members named Skyler K., who has been a member of the Sugar House club for nine years. He received the Youth of the Year, which is the highest award given to a club member. He’s a senior at Olympus High School and was recognized for his excellence in the Club values of academic success, healthy lifestyles and good character and citizenship. He received a $1,500 scholarship that will go towards his school when he graduates this spring.

“I have really enjoyed the time I have spent at the Club and the experiences I’ve had there,” Skyler wrote in his essay for the contest. “The Club has been a positive influence in my life and the staff has always supported me. The Club gives me a place I can go to get help, support, and guidance to stay committed to my academics. I am grateful for all the opportunities the Club has given me.  They have helped teach me to be a good role model and to stay committed to my future."

After pictures and smiles were given to Comcast, and applause given to Skyler, the different classes of students went into their classrooms and did projects, while the third- and fourth-grade students went outside and cleaned up trash around the Boys & Girls Club and around Fairmont Park.

“It’s great,” said Club Director Jamie Dunn regarding the kids helping out. “We are so lucky that we have really awesome kids and families that we serve. It’s funny at first because sometimes you’ll hear some groaning and sometimes they’re excited, but once they get into it they can make anything fun as long as you’re letting them know that what they’re doing is important.”

During that day, the club was trying to teach the kids to respect their things as well as take care of their areas and to remember that they are part of a community and it’s important to be a good part of that community. The kids all agreed that it was important, so when it came to picking up trash, they were more than happy to help.

“One of the things we focus on is community service,” Dunn said. “We do serve some youth that come from low-income homes and don’t have a lot, and it’s an important teaching lessons that even if they don’t have anything, they can still give back in some way, and it helps with their egos and personalities.”