Member Spotlight Nov 16

Finding His Place Member Spotlight: Quincy S.

There is nothing like the pride we feel when a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor accomplishes something—large or small. Seeing a member grow is a celebration for the entire Club family. Quincy is a young man that has given us cause to celebrate again and again. A ninth grader at Benton Harbor High School, 15-year-old Quincy (sixteen in two weeks) is a mainstay on the Honor Roll, and is now making a new place for himself in the Club.

During the past summer, Quincy was employed at the Club through a Kinexus program called Jobs for Michigan Graduates. When he was introduced to the work experience program through Benton Harbor High School, Quincy knew exactly what placement he wanted – the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor’s Fettig Youth Campus. 
Having recently transitioned to the Clubs’ Joel E. Smilow Teen Center, Quincy advocated to work at the Youth Campus, “I’ve got to work at the Boys & Girls Clubs because I love it there,” Quincy told his job coach.

After several check-ins with his job coach, Quincy finally got the call. “I was walking down the street and my phone rang. It was Coach. He said, ‘You got it!’ At first, I couldn’t believe it and asked him if he was kidding with me. When I realized that he was being serious, I was so excited and could not wait to get started,” said Quincy. 

His summer job responsibility was working with the younger members in the dance and drama room under the instruction of longtime Club employee and former member Ardale Clark. “One of the most important things I learned through my work experience was how to form relationships with the younger kids. Good, strong relationships,” says Quincy. “Ardale taught me how to communicate and understand the kids on a leadership level. I will be forever grateful for that.”
When the summer came to an end, it was time for Quincy to return to school. He continued to tell all his friends that he wanted to stay and work at the Boys & Girls Clubs. With basketball season approaching and his other school obligations, Quincy was not sure that working would be an option. However, he would soon have his chance. The Club had a position open in the dance/drama room and Quincy was the first person Program Director Liji Hanny thought of. Today, Quincy is back to work at the Club, eager to shape young minds.

“I hope that I teach kids how to be open; open to new ideas, new music, and trying new things,” he says. “Being here means a lot to me because the mentors here did so much for me. I want to be THAT for the kids I work with.”

Quincy also continues to push the limits of his own personal ambitions. As and Bs in school is no longer something he is happy with. Quincy wants all As and, best of all, he is confident that he can achieve that goal.

Quincy’s final message is to area parents. He said, “To the parents, I would say, ‘Get your kids in the Clubs!’ This is a great place for them. There are education programs, sports programs, music programs— there is something here for every child. If you feel like your kid doesn’t have a place—get them in the Club and watch them transform. They will find what they love and you will have the opportunity to watch it happen.”

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