Jaden has been a member of the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys & Girls Club since 2011. Through United Way funding we were able to help Jaden and his siblings acquire yearly memberships at the Club. During that time he has attended the Club more than 670 days. For most all of those days he was in the gym. Jaden was difficult because he often was unable to deal positively with negative circumstances in his life. He was often compulsive and sometimes explosive if he felt wronged in any way. Each day the staff would work with him to improve these skills. He was encouraged to try different methods of self-control and conflict resolution. He attended United Way supported prevention programs such as Date SMART and SMART Leaders to learn cooperation and teamwork as well as healthy lifestyle choices. Progress was slow and sometimes there were steps backwards, but we kept working with Jaden daily. This past summer, we were able to receive some grants which allowed us to offer a low cost lifeguarding course. We asked Jaden to make the commitment to the program and complete the week long training. In order to qualify, he had to attend seven training sessions throughout the summer. Jaden was excited by the opportunity but he had never been held accountable for any work related environment in the past and it was a struggle for him to adjust. In the end, with the support of many staff, he completed the requirements and is now a certified lifeguard. He has attended all the training updates and is progressing in his skills. Currently, staff is working with him to make sure he is attending and successful in school. Sometimes he regresses in his ability to appropriately handle situations but with constant, productive connections with Jaden's school and family, we are seeing little improvements each week. Just the other day, Jaden came into the Club all smiles. When we asked what was going on he was laughing because the office staff at school had come into one of his classes to make sure he was there because a Club staff member had called to be sure he was in school as promised. He was good natured about it and secretly (we think) he was happy we were checking up on him. It gives him the little push he needs to be focused in school and striving for success. Jaden is a perfect example of the long term impact the Boys & Girls Club can have with our members through United Way supported programs. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Jaden.
Dianne Woleen, Assistant Executive Director of the Winifred Boys & Girls Club of Jamestown, NY. The Boys & Girls Club's mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. For more information about the Boys & Girls Club of Jamestown, NY visit www.bgcjamestown.org/