Archive for the ‘Character Development’ Category

Volunteer of the Month: Javier!

April 5th, 2017 by Laura Smith

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County wouldn't be such a success without our awesome volunteers who help in the Clubs, at events and anything and everything else we can think of. To highlight our volunteers, we will be featuring one AWESOME volunteer each month.  If you're a volunteer with BGCLC and would like to be featured, reach out to Megan, our volunteer coordinator, at volunteer@bgclarimer.org!

This month we meet Javier Eiserman. Javier volunteers at our Harmony Village location during the week. The youth love him and he's always brightening their (and our) day! He'll be teaching in Nicaragua this summer, but we can't wait to hear about his adventures when he returns!

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1. What is your favorite smell?
My favorite smell is peppermint or the freshness in the air after it rains.
2. What is the most beautiful place you've ever been to?
That is a hard one, but I'd say either Li River in China or Paris (the Eiffel Tower).
3. Would you rather win an Olympic medal, academy award, or Nobel peace prize and why?
Nobel because it means I hopefully helped a lot of people.
4. What is the bravest thing you've ever done?
Climbed a volcano in Guatemala.
5. What do you like most about volunteering with Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County?
The kiddos that we work with are amazing and full of energy that will always brighten your day.

Club experiences: Beth from Wellington

March 16th, 2017 by Laura Smith
Unit Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County - Wellington Unit Rob, sits down with Beth, Wellington Youth of the Year, to share her story and experiences while attending the Club.
Breath, You have this. Everything that you are about to do will be hard, but you will grow. This is about the journey of four speeches that Beth will forever remember.
The Wellington Youth Of the Year, Beth, just finished sharing her speech to her peers at the Club that she has been attending for years.  It was an accomplishment as Beth is the person who can step in and help when the staff and Club needs her support most. She is great with directing and assisting youth and talking to them one-on-one. But Beth had one challenge that she knew of: she was shy and resonates more to being an introvert.
Youth of the Year members take on the role of being a public spokesperson for the Wellington Unit and the "Blue Door" movement. She understood that responsibility and saw how most extroverts take on the role. Beth said, "I almost cried" when delivering her speech to her peers as it was very personal and challenging to share.
The following weeks Beth would prepare her speech as she would be competing against the Youths of the Year from the Fort Collins Unit and Loveland Unit. After the event, The Boys & Girls Club of Larimer County would name the winner as the Youth of the Year for the Larimer County organization.
Staff Members Desirae and Rob, worked with Beth again and again. They shared with Beth that she only had to share what she felt comfortable with and that since her story had disclosed the impact of the Club and the support she needed and received from the Club and her new father after her previous father had left her family. Beth said this was something that needed to be shared.
It is said that there are more people who fear public speaking than death. The audience of this event were fellow supportive Club members from the BGCLC. The Judges were caring, helpful and kind critics; it could not have been a better audience for anyone who was about to have their first speech in front of children and adults who were all strangers.
It was later discovered that Beth was about to share with the world what she decided to avoid and take an "F" on in her favorite class, English, because she had to write a paper about her life.  Beth said, "she needed to do this, she needed to move on."  It was empowering to see.
On January 14, 2017, Beth was going to expose a wound and share her heart in a way she has never done before. One of the many slogans and proverbs we use at the Wellington Unit is, "It doesn't matter how you fall, it matters how you get up." Beth with all of her strong characteristics except in extroverted activities and public speaking wavered and fell.
Beth fell in the best place she could, with her family, with the staff of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County, and with her fellow Youth of the Year  club members from the Loveland and Fort Collins Units.
But it does not matter how you fall, it matters on how you get up. Beth, after panicking, marched back to the stage that she ran away from saying "I got this! I want to do this!" She went through each tough part with sound, power and liberation of an emotional weight that was on her. And in the end, she was relieved.
She did not win Youth of The Year of Larimer County. That award was honored to an amazing Club member, Stella of Loveland.
Beth did win in a big way in her life, her story and who she is. She went on to share the same speech at the Mayor's recognition in the Town of Wellington before strong members of the Wellington Community; she did not stumble at all.
For  Beth's fourth speech, a 14-year-old girl from small town Wellington with a shy, introverted personality, was able to present in front of 1,000 people at the Youth of The Year Breakfast.
When Beth saw the size of the room and stage at the practice rehearsal, she  immediately had stage fright. She was soft spoken and looking down at the ground.  People were concerned that she may fail and it could be traumatizing for her.  Beth, who recently went to a Colorado State Basketball game, was overwhelmed with large crowds. She said, "I need to do this; I have got this." Beth practiced and practiced.
On February 9th, Beth turned her weakness into a strength. High school speech class will be much easier for Beth, as she can successfully say she spoke with a very successful woman and Board Member for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County, Jen Parker, as the open speakers in front of 1,000 people.
I am so thrilled to share the growth of Beth and how she worked through her fear of public speaking and large crowds. Beth can say with confidence that she can speak in front of anyone.
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BGC Loveland Unit hosts Tech Girls Rock

February 16th, 2017 by Laura Smith

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Does your daughter want to rock...with rocks? Then sign her up for our Tech Girls Rock event happening on March 17! Boys & Girls Clubs of America, in partnership with CA Technologies, are hosting Tech Girls Rock workshop at our Loveland location. This free event is an initiative aimed to encourage girls to discover an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focused educational opportunities and careers.

This event will explore different careers in the tech field, IT trends and topics, give tech challenges and also feature hands-on technology experiments.

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women make up 58 percent of the U.S. workforce, but only 25 percent of  the computing workforce. Since this initiative kicked off, Tech Girls Rock workshops have reached more than 1,500 tween and teen girls across the country. Help us reach even more by signing up your tween or teen today!

Participants will also get complimentary breakfast, lunch and a snack by registering!

The holidays may be over, but you can still give the gift of learning by registering your tween or teen girl today. And if you register by March 8th you'll be entered to win a FREE laptop!

Hope to see you there!

Event Details: Tech Girls Rock Free Workshop

Where: BGCLC Loveland Unit, 2500 E 1st St., Loveland, CO

When: March 17, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Who: Girls, ages 10-18

Register at: techgirlsrock.eventbrite.com

Questions? Call (970) 372-2291

 

 

Youth of the Year Breakfast: A Preview!

February 2nd, 2017 by Laura Smith

Everyone loves breakfast, right? It tastes good. It fills you up. And, there is usually something sweet involved. Here at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County, we love breakfast for a whole other reason: celebrating the amazing youth we serve for one awesome event.

dsc06291Our Youth of the Year (YOY) breakfast is our biggest event of the year. It not only brings together our supporters, sponsors, volunteers, staff members and donors, it also gives all of those people (and more) a chance to connect with some of the youth we serve.

If you find yourself at the breakfast, you'll be entertained with some of our Loveland Unit STEP team members, get a chance to connect with the youth as they tell you their goals and hopes for the future, and you'll also be able to see all of the youths of the month from 2016 we will be honoring from each Club U
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dsc06288During this event, you'll also get to find out WHO the 2017 Larimer County Youth of the Year is. This individual has worked hard to win over her Club Unit as well as all of the other Club Units (Wellington, Loveland, West Loveland, Fort Collins) in Larimer County.  Her story is incredible, but her hopes, goals and dreams for the future are even more astounding. We can't wait to have everyone hear her story on February 9th!

And while the Club Staff and Program Support have been a bit hectic the last few weeks in preparation, we are so excited to honor these youth! The Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County opens doors to great futures, and we can't see all the doors these youth will open.

As a mini preview, meet our Senior Youths of the Year (Beth, Stella, Helen) and Junior Youths of the Year (Alex, Earl, Ayanna, Gabbie) pictured below:

See you all in a week!

Holiday Service Challenges!

January 12th, 2017 by Laura Smith

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The holidays may technically be over, but that doesn't mean the spirit of the holidays has to fade (or the tree has to come down). We're still channeling the holiday cheer here at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County and hope you'll join us!
During the holiday season, each Unit was asked to participate in a Service Challenge as a part of one of our core priority outcomes: Good Character & Leadership. Read on to find out what our Units did for the community this season!
Fort Collins Unit 
This year, the Fort Collins Unit made personalized ornaments for the occupants at The Remington House affiliated with The Jacob Center. The Jacob Center was founded in 1988 by three social workers. The name Jacob is typically associated with healing and also refers to an ancient surveying instrument (Jacob Staff) that helps people get their bearings. The Jacob Center focuses on working with youth, families and the community to inspire positive, long-lasting change. A part of that, the Remington House, services a range of behavioral and emotional issues, including abuse, family relational issues, trauma issues and substance abuse. To help boost spirits, Club Members of the SMART (skills mastery and resistance training) Moves program made ornaments and then educated other Club Members about The Jacob Center and how it correlates with the lessons provided in SMART Moves.
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Loveland Units 
Following along with their summer service challenge (commUNITY), the Loveland Unit collected an assortment of clothes that they donated to Homeless Gear. They are hoping to follow up commUNITY part two by hosting the Loveland Police Department at the Club Unit for another activity.
Wellington Unit 
 This year, the Torch Club (a chartered leadership and service club for boys and girls ages 11 to 13) hosted a coat drive! Club Members were able to donate 50 coats to Zion Lutheran who gave the coats to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The Torch Club made posters and asked community members to donate coats.
Great work to all our Club Members for their selfless work this holiday season!

The Growing Project partners with BGCLC

October 6th, 2016 by Laura Smith

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County not only strives to give Club Kids great futures, but also encourage them to learn valuable skills that help them in life, not necessarily just the classroom. One such program started this summer thanks to Marla Flynn, arts program specialist at the Fort Collins Unit. Flynn decided to partner with The Growing Project, a nonprofit located in Fort Collins that promotes the value of a strong, diverse local food system so that all residents of Northern Colorado can become more educated directly on agricultural experiences.

This summer, Club Kids were taught the importance of growing fresh, nourishing, regional food and why going local is so great! During the programming this summer, youth would venture to Hope Farms where they would learn something new each day, including watching a successful garden grow!

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At the Fort Collins Unit, youth have their very own garden where they plant, care for and harvest their yummy veggies. Each week, youth also open their own "farm stand" where they give away their bountiful loot to other Club members and their families.

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Thank you to The Growing Project and Hope Farms for educating youth and hanging out with the BGCLC. Can't wait to continue this awesome partnership!

 

A humorous display of theatre perfection

August 4th, 2016 by Laura Smith

"Break a leg" was quietly murmured around the Estes Park club last Thursday and Friday as club members from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County Estes Park location geared up for their theatre debut of "The Hysterical History of the Trojan War."

"The Hysterical History of the Trojan War," a play by D.M. Larson is a historical overview of the Trojan War with humorous tidbits thrown in. Because history is always easier to understand and remember when you have a slight stitch in your side.

Club Members of Estes Park worked extremely hard on this production and were rewarded with a packed house and plenty of applause.

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As part of the BGCLC summer plan to educate and immerse youth in a variety of activities, this performance was just one of many valuable experiences club members were able to experience this season.

If you weren't able to catch this showing, make sure to mark your calendar for yet another Estes Park performance on Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. at Performance Park as club members perform with Ballet Renaissance to conclude an amazing summer.

Hats off to you club members, keep up the great work!

 

An unexpected start for Academic Success

June 23rd, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

Poop.Amadeo

Yes, you read that right. Poop.

Poop is what inspires this installment of one club member from Fort Collins achieving Academic Success. This gross and taboo word has everything to do with how Charles, Academic Program Specialist, from the Fort Collins Club was able to get one of the least academically-enthused Members to come in and start doing his homework during Power Hour.

At the Fort Collins Club, the major focus within the Academic Success Outcome is participation in Power Hour. An overwhelming majority of the parents have expressed enthusiasm for the Power Hour program and getting Members to do their homework. Charles commented that it warms his heart greatly to see the kids that consistently come in to get work done. However, we all know that it's the kids that DON'T do their work that really need attention. That, indeed, is where we earn our money. The trick to helping those members that don’t want to do their work is finding the one thing that flips the switch for each individual. For some, it's the recognition and prizes provided for Power Hour attendance. For others, it's a phone call to home or school. For Amadeo Lopez, it was poop.

Located in Charles’s room is a book titled, "The Truth About Poop,” by Susan G. Goodman. One day, the fearless Fort Collins Club leader, Brian, thought it would be hilarious to display the book in Charles's window for everyone to see. Well, one day, Amadeo saw the book, and of course, he wanted to read it. Charles had hoped it would trigger a desire for him to come into the Learning Lab more often. And what do you know, that's exactly what happened. He came into the room many, many times just to read that book (did we mention the cover art is of an elephant on the toilet doing his business?).

In regards to Power Hour, Amadeo's parents had signed him and his sister up several months ago. However, getting Amadeo to come in and work was an enormous task. This book--this freakin' book--is what greased the wheels and showed him that the Learning Lab is a fun place where he can get his homework done (and, yes, read about poop). Granted, this was a slow transition; Charles may have had to chase Amadeo down a few times. But, once he started agreeing to come in, it became easier. He won Academic Success Youth of the Week for his efforts. And now, he's coming in ON HIS OWN to do his reading (and not just the poop book!). He's reading his required 20 pages per day. The books aren't always at his level, and there are still times where he "doesn't have homework,” but it's great progress for someone who flat out refused to come in a few months prior. With some kids, it's just a slow build, and that's okay. Being able to provide opportunity for Amadeo is great, but more importantly, he's growing as a human being.


Soon enough, Charles will be able to say that #2 is what helped Amadeo make education his #1.

 

Summer 2016 Boys & Girls Clubs Training

June 9th, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

Watch out summer, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County full-time and part-time staff are trained and ready! During the last week of May, BGC staff underwent a week of staff programming and safety training in preparation for the 2016 summer sessions. On Tuesday, May 31st, staff kicked-off training by learning about the importance and necessity of mental health first aid when dealing with children, teens and young adults.

Staff also went through a two-day lesson on Poudre School District’s school shooter training. After several school shootings within the last few years, this training was critical for all staff to understand that in today’s society, sometimes we are the front line when violence occurs. Topics covered included an active shooter scenario, bomb threat scenario and hands-on wound care workshop. More information on the shooter training can be found here. This shooter training was taught in conjunction with CPR and First Aid Training.

Staff, both full-time and part-time, got to break-out and mingle during the greater part of Thursday, June 2, while participating in in-service training at the Boys & Girls Club Fort Collins location. The all-day training included an all-staff, mandatory reporting training hosted by the Child Advocacy Center. Items discussed included recognizing signs of child abuse and neglect, and also what to do if you suspect abuse. This session was followed by four breakout sessions designed to get staff involved and immersed in Boys & Girls Clubs tailored activities. Break-out sessions included High Yield Learning Activities led by Brian Johnson; STEAM Programming led by Rachel Messersmith; On The Spot Fun led by TJ Daya; and Engaging Youth in Targeted Programming led by Andy Abbott.

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Even with all the training and learning happening, the staff managed to squeeze out some fun. It can’t be all work and no play after all.

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Three more sessions wrapped up the day, including Safety Scenarios and BGCLC Safety Protocol led by Kaycee Headrick, which examined safety protocols and safety scenarios; Nonviolent Communication led by Rob Klein, in which attendees were taught techniques around nonviolent communication when working with youth and de-escalation strategies; and finally, Planning for Programming 101 led by TJ Daya and Ashley Prow, which covered the basics of planning and preparing for Club activities as well as addressing how to see, and fill, a need in the Club environment.

No training is just a week long event, it is continually on-going and always needed. Let’s keep safe, keep trained, and work on making this the best summer yet!

2016 Keystone Conference

March 24th, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

Held in Dallas, TX this year, the Keystone National Conference celebrated the Year of the Teen, a national initiative to encourage teens to attend their local Boys & Girls Clubs.  This amazing conference had over 2,100 teens and 400 Club staff from across the global attend. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County sent five teens and two staff to the conference, and have returned with an infectious amount of energy, enthusiasm, and amazing ideas to make the Club even better than ever.

While at the conference, members went on career exploration and college tours, participated in team building and learned how to better impact their community.  In order to attend this year's conference, our Keystone members have held movie nights and dances for Club members over the past year, raising over $3,000 to cover their travel costs.  Congratulations to our five teens for their wonderful work and participation!

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