Area Director and Snohomish Club Unit Director Marci Volmer has been awarded the 2013 Spirit of Snohomish Award, presented by the Snohomish Chamber of Commerce. This annual award is given to an individual who puts the City of Snohomish first; a person with great enthusiasm for the future of the city of Snohomish, and in her case the future of youth in Snohomish. Because of the many ways Marci has served her community, as an active member of the Kiwanis, her dedication to the Adopt-a-Sock program, the summer Kid’s Café and the countless hours she has given to raising awareness for youth activities in the city of Snohomish, the Chamber applauded her at their annual Special Awards and Recognition Presentation. Marci’s significant contributions are numerous and as a long time Chamber Board member who has always been there to support Chamber events and activities, she has earned the gratitude of the organization. On Tuesday, April 15, the Chamber was honored to celebrate her many contributions to the Snohomish community by presenting her with the award. Please join us in congratulating Marci.
Thank you to Macy’s for donating over $30,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County to help kids have Great Futures! Each year the Alderwood and Everett Macy’s stores and associates encourage their customers to enroll in the Thanks for Sharing program which gives shoppers extra savings from September through the end of December. A portion of the enrollment fee is donated to national and local charities.
Macy’s Thanks for Sharing has raised over $100 million for charitable causes since 2002, and we are pleased they support us locally in Snohomish County. Thank you Macy’s!
Selected from several local outstanding youth, Spencer Graham will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Washington State Youth of the Year title and a the opportunity to receive a $1,000 college scholarship from Tupperware Brands Corporation. As the new Youth of the Year, 18 year old Spencer is an extraordinary young man recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) for his sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community.
Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. As BGCA’s premier youth recognition program, Youth of the Year recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Youth of the Year encourages Club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities. Youth of the Year honorees are terrific examples and living proof that great futures start at Boys & Girls Clubs.
“Spencer Graham has overcome several challenges in his life and is a leader who strives to help others. At the Alderwood Boys & Girls Club he is the Keystone Club president (teenage leadership service group) and positively impacts both kids and adults lives.” said Mike Neumeister, Area Director and Unit Director Alderwood Boys & Girls Club.
Spencer has a great character and a lot of potential. He has the confidence of someone who makes positive choices. Spencer lives with his mother while balancing school work, swimming for the Meadowdale High School Swim Team, a job and Club activities. He has gained a confidence from knowing that even though life can offer challenges, he can overcome struggles.
When Spencer began attending the Alderwood Boys & Girls Club in the fifth grade he quickly became involved in Club activities, including playing on several basketball teams over the years. He volunteers as a Counselor in Training during summer camp and is currently the president of Keystone Club. Spencer is a positive role model for younger Club members.
Ultimately, Spencer’s goal is to work with children, teens and adults going through the pain of living with those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. After graduation he plans on attending Edmonds Community College to study Drug/Alcohol Counseling. “Post high school education is my opportunity to start my future and give it my all,” he said in his Youth of the Year application when writing about his goal of becoming a counselor. He understands struggling with challenges should never make someone feel happiness and success are out of reach and he hopes to help others learn that their past does not define them.
If Spencer wins at the state competition, he will compete for the title of the Pacific Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 scholarship from Tupperware Brands, the recognition program’s national sponsor. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September 2014, to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of up to $50,000 from The Rick and Susan Goings Foundation and will have the opportunity to meet with the President in the White House.
We would like to offer special thanks to our Youth of the Year judges, who generously gave their time to interview all the Youth of the Year candidates and thoughtfully select Spencer out of an outstanding group of candidates. Thank you to:
Rick Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of The Everett Clinic
Jennifer Gregerson, Mayor City of Mukilteo
Jean Hernandez, President of Edmonds Community College
Larry Jubie, Jubie Construction
Rory Klein, Marketing Director at Auto Concepts Northwest and Marketing Director/ IT at Klein Honda
Brenda Olson, Olson Franchise Group Advertising
Thank you to our Masters of Ceremony and National Youths of the Year: Dr. Tony Agtarap (1983), Adam Cornell (1991) and Dr Liberty Franklin Mataia (1998)
We would like to recognize and thank all the candidates:
Abigale Nolen, Arlington
Ford Jensen, Cascade
Bree Daigneault, Coupeville
Shawn Fuller, Granite Falls
Courtney Ellis, Lake Stevens
Makayla Belew, Marysville
Amanda Lee, Monroe
Robert Renteria, Mulilteo
Erica Aguilar, Oak Harbor
Morgan David, Snohomish
Malia Jones, South Everett/Mulilteo
Ruby Zamora, Sultan
Arely Diaz-Cuevas, Trailside
Samantha Marteney, Tulalip
Last year BGCSC provided 313,306 hot snacks and meals to youth in Snohomish County. In addition to feeding kids healthy, filling, and fresh food, Kids Café snacks and meals are served family-style. Kids, staff, and volunteers sit down and eat together, providing time for friendships and mentorships to develop.
Staff and other Club members’ model healthy eating habits and appropriate mealtime behaviors for younger kids. As Club staff provide a positive adult presence in the lives of Club members, this time to develop relationships is an important element of the Club experience, as it allows staff to get to know the kids and therefore notice changes in a child’s behavior which may signal trouble at home or school. Kids Café often serves as an outreach program for other BGCSC programs. Initially some kids come into the Clubs for food and after developing bonds with Club staff and youth, choose to stay for homework help, athletic and recreational programming, or a variety of enriching programs.
The Nysether Family Foundation has donated $7,500 to help support the SMART Girls program at the Clubs. The program fits in with the Nysether Family Foundation’s focus on improving the quality of life for youth. In order to make a positive impact on young women in Snohomish County, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County offer the SMART (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) Girls program. This program empowers girls to make healthy decisions regarding sex and relationships and encourages them to develop and work toward school and career goals. The long-term goal of SMART Girls is to help participants acquire and maintain lifelong attributes of a positive self-concept and good decision making skills regarding personal safety, relationships, and healthy lifestyles.
SMART Girls, a curriculum-based program, is currently offered in 13 Clubs and school-based sites. Last year 284 girls participated in the program; representing a 42% increase from the year before. Each Club runs their own program, choosing activities and seeking involvement of female role models meeting the unique needs of each community.
SMART Girls operates throughout the school year, meeting weekly for group sessions to talk about girls’ issues, once a month the meeting is a workshop, field trip, or other event. Activities include life skills workshops, sexuality workshops, nutrition and fitness workshops, healthcare system workshops, mentoring workshops, computer assisted instruction, SMART Girls Speakers, SMART Girls field trips, team building activities, and recognition events. Clubs recruit SMART Girls participants throughout the year and all girls aged 9-18 are eligible to participate.
In 2013 the girls were able to participate in many activities to help them focus on good choices and positive futures. One highlight was a three day aerospace training program at the WATR (Washington Aerospace Training and Research) Center. Girls were able to learn about aerospace, engineering, and electrical principles and participate in hands-on learning. This year participants cut their names onto large metal pieces using tools and materials designed for use in airplanes.