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Member Spotlight Apr 16

Becoming a Man  Member Spotlight: Amare

Being a man is one thing. Becoming a man is another thing altogether. It’s easy for most boys to believe that when they turn 18 (or some other magic number) they suddenly become a man. Nine-year-old Amare knows that is not the case. In the Passport to Manhood program, Amare is learning there is more to being a man than just being old. “It’s about respect—for yourself and others—and being open to learning new things,” says the third grader.

Amare, a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor for more than a year, has the same dream as many young men—to play professional sports. At the top of his list? Basketball. But, at age nine, Amare knows that he has to create options. With that in mind, his potential career list also includes becoming a doctor or a lawyer. When asked why those professions, Amare answers, “Because they help people and I want to be someone who helps people do better.” 
That helpful attitude is not always how Amare thought. Amare says that Passport to Manhood taught him to be more respectful. “It teaches you how to be a man, what you need to do to take care of your family in the future, and how to respect yourself and others,” he says. Amare also follows the lead of his older brother, Timothy Jr., who is 13 years old and also a Club member in the Passport to Manhood program.

Passport to Manhood is just one Club program helping to shape this young man. Amare is also a fan of dancing and stepping. In the Club’s performing arts programs, he learns new moves and has the opportunity to perform. His favorite venue is the Blossomtime Kiddie Parade, where more than 25 Club youth members dance in the parade. Amare also performed at a halftime show for the Lake Michigan Admirals. “I am having lots of fun and learning new things,” says Amare.
Amare found his most important lesson in an ideal shared by his father, as well as his hero, NBA star Stephen Curry: when you work hard, you can play hard. Curry says, “We have to have the mentality that we have to work for everything we are going to get.” Amare is not afraid of hard work and, like his hero, is gaining the confidence that he can make it by attending the Boys & Girls Club. 

Amare describes himself as a dancer, stepper, good student, good friend, and a good brother. At nine years old, Amare on his way to developing the characteristics, skills, and behavior to realize his fullest potential.

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