Ellie has been coming to the Boys & Girls Club of Janesville since 2021. His two younger siblings are part of the elementary program, and he makes sure they get to Club each day. For Ellie, the Club means having a safe space he can go after school and during the summer where he can thrive and be separate from his brothers in the teen room. Going to Club provides entertainment and education for him and keeps him from being at home alone or on his phone all day. It also gives him the space to try new things and be active.
Staff at the Club are some of the few people Ellie says he can rely on and trust. Ellie’s favorite things about the Club are having time away from his siblings where he doesn’t always have to worry about them, hanging out with friends and getting to know the staff, and programming like triple play and healthy habits.
“If I wasn’t at Club, I would be miserable or get into trouble like many other kids on their own. Club staff really care about my family and I know if I need something, they’ll be right there to help.”
Meet Miss Addie
Addie started coming to the Boys & Girls Club of Janesville in second grade when her single mother needed somewhere safe for Addie to go after school. At the Club, Addie felt at home and had opportunities to participate in programs such as Girl Talk, cooking, Triple Play, drama, and music. The staff at the Club made her feel loved and accepted at all stages in life, and were some of her biggest cheerleaders. During her time as a Club member, Addie was named Youth of the Year twice and got to compete in the National Youth of the Year competition. The Club gave Addie hope to pursue her dreams and she felt she had people to guide her along the way when she needed it.
After many years of being a Club kid and a junior staff member, Addie wanted to work for the Club full time but was not 18, the required age. She presented her proposal to the Board of Directors and was brought on as a full time Club employee where she had many different roles in the Club and grew with the organization. Now Addie is the Teen Program Manager at the Club and guides youth the way her mentors guided her.
“I remember how amazing my experience was as a Club kid, so to be able to give kids a similar environment is more rewarding than anything. Every kid deserves a champion, mine is the Boys & Girls Club of Janesville. I don’t know where I would be without this place and the people who have helped me grow over the years. I am honored to be a part of this organization and to help guide our future leaders!”