Moody County Youth Shares What the Club Means to Him

The Boys & Girls Club of Moody County, located in the beautiful city of Flandreau, SD, has achieved great success over the past five years. Twelve year old Julius G. has been a Club member in Moody County, a unit of the Boys & Girls Club of Brookings, since December 2010. Julius has been able to witness and experience much of the Club’s tremendous growth during his membership tenure. A recent interview with Julius captured his impressions of the Club and how it has helped him grow.

Julius immediately enjoyed coming to the Club after school as well as throughout the summer and connecting with staff members. What is the best part of being a Club kid? Julius likes “to hang out with [his] friends and play fun activities like dodge ball and help make meals for the younger Club members with staff.”

In addition to spending time with peers and staff members, Julius has been able to participate in many Club programs and activities including a program called Clubs against Tobacco and SMART Moves. He shared that those programs helped him learn about making healthy relationship choices and become more confident in his knowledge of harmful habits like smoking. The Club also offers time for Power Hour where youth are given the opportunity to finish up school work, read quietly, and participate in mentoring programs like STEM Mentoring and other OJJDP-funded initiatives. Julius receives mentoring and enjoys spending time with a trusted adult who listens to his struggles and achievements.

Julius believes that the Club is an important part of in the lives of all youth in Flandreau including his own. In fact, the Club has been a source of support for him many times. Julius identified bullying as a hardship he faced throughout his young life. When asked about how the Club has helped him overcome bullying he shared that the Club “helped me escape challenges that I face in other places.” He said the most important thing about the Club is the experience he has with staff members and how he can relate to them while “just [being] a kid.”

Julius lives with his dad and says that his dad appreciates the Club just as much as he does. “My dad appreciates the Club for taking good care of youth and providing them with positive role models,” remarked Julius. He continued on to say that his dad is also appreciative of the nutrition opportunities during the summer.

When asked about his favorite moment as a Club member, Julius talked about a field trip the Club took to Mitchell, SD. He said that it was fun to tour a local college and see what interesting things there are too do after high school. The Club has been a focal point in Julius’s youth and he is excited to continue growing there through Club programming in high school.