Celebrating International Day of the Boy at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver

May 16th is International Day of the Boy! At Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver would like to take a moment to recognize and honor the amazing young men in our Clubs.  

Every boy deserves a safe and supportive environment where they can learn, grow, and thrive. Unfortunately, many boys and young men in our community face significant challenges that can prevent them from reaching their full potential. That's why we are dedicated to providing a space where boys can connect with mentors who can help them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. 

At Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, we believe mentorship is key to helping boys develop into successful, confident, and caring adults. We offer a variety of mentorship programs and activities designed to build character, promote leadership, and foster a sense of community. At the Club, boys can be themselves, build positive relationships with peers and adults, and receive the support and guidance they need to succeed. 

So, here's to the boys of Metro Denver, and to all the boys around the world. Today, we celebrate your unique talents, your strength, and your potential. Happy International Day of the Boy! 

Q & A with Axel, Senior at North High School 

Axel has been a member of the Johnson Boys & Girls Clubs since he was six years old. Growing up in the Club, he has built strong relationships with staff and other Club members.  

What do you think are some of the qualities needed to be a mentor? 

You need to be responsible. All of the staff here are leaders and set a good example for the younger Club members. Most of these kids come here every day, so it is important to have someone that they can look up to. 

Do you think some of the younger Club members look up to you? 

Yeah, especially since I started working at the Club. I see the younger kids watching me and I know I’ve got to set a good example. I’m showing them what they can grow up to be. Showing them how to be respectful and clean up the Club. And, now that this is my last year, it’s hard to leave it behind. I know I want to keep supporting the Club. I want to come back and run athletics and the gym.  

How does the Club create mentorship relationships between members and staff? 

The younger kids definitely see us older members helping out the staff and then they want to help too. We don’t even have to ask sometimes. The other day they made a mess in the cafeteria, but then they just cleaned everything up themselves. The staff also let the young ones help out around the Club and it makes them feel special. They grow up at the Club wanting to show they are responsible too, like they can help our community, just like the staff and older members. 

Have you built strong relationships during your time at the Club? 

Definitely, I mean, I started coming to the Club when I was six. My best friends are here, we all grew up together, coming to the Club to play basketball and then hanging out at teen night once we were older.  

My friends who are part of the Club are more respectful, like my other friends don’t care as much. The Club has always been there for me, like when I needed a job. My last day working here was last Friday, and all the little kids surprised me with a basket to say thanks. It was really cute, and it meant a lot to me. 

Q & A with Mikey, Junior at North High School 

Mikey has been a member of the Johnson Boys & Girls Club for five years and was Johnson Club’s Senior Youth of the Year winner for 2022. 

What do you think are some of the qualities needed to be a mentor? 

A mentor needs to be a leader and a role model, but they also just need to be there for you, especially if you are going through something hard. You need a mentor to guide you through those hard times. 

Have you had a mentor while you were at the Club? 

Yeah, I’ve definitely had a mentor. Growing up at the Club, the previous Club Director Steve was a mentor to me. Steve really impacted my life through the opportunities he gave me to travel and participate in leadership programs. He really built me into the person I am today. 

I admire the way he communicated with the kids and families. Seeing the way Steve connected with the community motivated me to want to do the same – I really want to help my community as much as I can. 

How do you think you’ve benefited from having a mentor at the Club? 

I really appreciated having someone to talk to at the Club. Sometimes, when I was having a hard day because of something going on at home, Steve would talk with me and help me relax. After we talked, I felt more like myself again, flowing straight through and not all bottled up.  

I think there is a real benefit to being able to talk to someone who has gone through the same things you’ve gone through. It is good to hear how they got through and feel like you can get through too. 

Have you built strong relationships during your time at the Club? 

Yeah, I’ve made really good friends growing up at the Club. It is nice to have someone who went through the same things as me and to build a friendship overtime. We like to come and play basketball or videos games, but also fun to just spend time together one-on-one.  

But honestly, I really appreciate and admire all the staff too. Without seeing them every day, I don’t know where I would be. 

Q & A with Jamarion, Senior at North High School 

Jamarion has been a Club kid for years and is now finishing out the last month of his senior year at North High School. He says he’s always had big dreams and is hoping to travel and explore internationally once he graduates. 

What do you think are some of the qualities needed to be a mentor? 

It is important for a mentor to have experience. That is really the main point for me. Without that experience, how can you look up to someone? When a mentor knows more and has lived through more, it can really help someone. 

Have you had a mentor while you were at the Club? 

Yeah, I admire Dom, one of the former staff members. We met back during COVID and we just had a bond. At first, we started playing basketball and then chess. I hadn’t really played chess before, but I liked the competition we had playing each other. It was fun. We also talked about careers and school. He made sure I was doing well and keeping up at school. 

How do you think you’ve benefited from having a mentor at the Club? 

The Club advises us in a bunch of different ways, like just in sports for example. People like sports and want to be better at them, so the staff challenge us to be better. Then when the younger kids see the older kids doing well, they will ask for help. I try to act more mature around the younger kids and set a good example. 

Have you built strong relationships during your time at the Club? 

Yeah, I’ve got a best friend at the Club. I’m glad I have someone that I feel very comfortable with and someone I can trust.  

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