Fourteen-year-old Ingrid is a true social butterfly. On any given day, she can be found floating throughout every corner of the Suncor Boys & Girls Club in Commerce City talking to friends, mentoring younger Club members and helping the staff. The strong relationships that Ingrid has developed with her peers and Club staff have helped shape her focus for a promising future. “The Club has helped me realize my potential and never give up,” said Ingrid.
In 2004, Ingrid’s family dynamics shifted when her parents got divorced. Ingrid had to learn how to cope when faced with this major life change and turned to her Boys & Girls Club for support. “The Club helps me learn from the challenges that life presents,” said Ingrid. “It helps me process situations quicker and focus on what matters most.”
Aspiring to attend college one day, the notion of never giving up is crucial for Ingrid. As life often presents challenges, over the past twelve years Ingrid has relied on the steady presence of her Club to guide her as she pursues her college dream.
With an open heart and a strong sense of confidence, Ingrid warmly welcomes new opportunities and experiences. At only six years old, she walked into the Club for the first time without an ounce of fear. Two years later, she spent a week in the mountains during her first summer at Gates Camp. She loved it so much that she never once got homesick. By age ten, Ingrid began participating in the Youth of the Year competition only to find that she loves what some of the other candidates fear – the rigorous interview process. “The interviews are fun. The judges ask me a lot of questions and I get to learn a lot about them too!”
Finding opportunities to learn across all spectrums of life, Ingrid’s feet often carry her into the Club gym or outside to the futsal court. Ingrid enjoys participating in many sports. While shuffling her feet on the basketball court, hustling up and down the soccer field or running around the track, participating in athletics has taught Ingrid the importance of communication and working as a team. She has also learned to never be scared. “Just enjoy the game and be free,” said Ingrid.
The journey from Ingrid’s school to the Club’s Learning Center is a mere brisk walk. Taking on a heavier homework load as a freshman in high school, this proximity helps Ingrid excel academically. “During the school year the Learning Center is the first place that I go almost every time I walk into the Club,” said Ingrid. “I like to get my homework done before I participate in any other programs.” The Learning Center offers ample resources including guidance from staff members to help Ingrid maintain a high GPA. “The staff helps me with my homework,” recounts Ingrid. “They are always there for me when I need them.”
Between balancing school, sports and participating in several leadership programs, Ingrid has her hands full. Ingrid’s long-term commitment to her Boys & Girls Club has positioned her as a leader and mentor. Both the younger and older members look up to Ingrid and come to her when they need help. As president of Torch Club, a character and leadership program for junior high school students, Ingrid learned how to organize projects and manage her peers to successfully execute a variety of different fundraising events. Over the course of the next four years, Ingrid hopes to become a Counselor-In- Training at Gates Camp to serve as a mentor to younger campers. She also plans to join the Keystone Club, a leadership group for Club teens.