Here at the Boys and Girls Club we care about kids. Our programs are committed to the healthy development of all children. But perhaps you don’t realize just how much of an impact our programs can make. One of our Club Coordinators observed the impact our club had on not just kids, but an entire family.
Brittney Hislop has known the Uguak family for 11 years now. The mother, Akon, raised six children almost completely on her own as her husband resided in South Sudan and could only travel to Edmonton every 3 to 4 months. As a working mother, the Boys and Girls Club provided crucial support for her and her family. She worked as a cleaner for the club and would come in every other day to accomplish the tasks required. As the only coordinator at the club during these times, Bittney was able to develop a relationship with Akon. She shares, “I was able to talk to her about the kids, help her with her resume and help her look for work.” The club’s support has been invaluable for Akon. She often tells the staff how much she appreciates having the club around. She’ll even tell you that the club is a main reason her kids are turning out so great as we helped raise them.
Akon’s kids have turned out great. Her 2nd oldest, Aher, is in his third year of college basketball. He currently plays for Loyola University in Chicago. His younger brother, Lwal has just recently moved to Connecticut where he has accepted a football scholarship to the University of Connecticut. The week before Lwal left for university he came into the club to say goodbye. Brittney recalls the experience. “Of course I teared up and told him how proud I was of him. As we were sitting in the office chatting he told me how much the club has meant to him and all of the other things we have taught and helped him with over the years.” The Club has been a support and safe haven for Lwal and he hopes to be able to give back someday. Having connected with the Uguak family and watched the kids transition successfully into adulthood, Brittney knows how vital the Club has been to their achievements. She says “Lwal is such a great example of what consistent adult mentorship can do for a youth.” Despite the odds stacked against them, the Uguak kids have flourished. We can’t wait to see what the rest of them accomplish!
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