Hi my name is Marshon and I’m a sixteen year old junior at Green Bay East High School. I have been a member at the Thomas Lutsey Unit (Eastside Club) for six years.
Growing up is hard enough as it is, but for a young African American male growing up in a city with high crime rates, like Chicago where I’m from, its even harder. Moving to Green Bay gave me the chance to remove myself from that violence and to have a more peaceful childhood.
Both of my parents agreed that this would be a much safer place for me to grow up. And so here I am. I know a lot of guys that moved here with similar stories and for similar reasons. Some of them brought the violence with them and chose not to take advantage of a new beginning. They stayed in that life style of crime instead of being glad to be out of it. Me, I chose to take advantage of a fresh start.
The Boys & Girls Club has given me the chance to do so. It has given me engaging after school activities and opportunities like summer teen nights that keep me out of trouble. It has given me homework help to keep me in school, and it’s given me moral support when I’ve needed someone to talk to. I am convinced that the staff here at the club are determined to get more young men like myself off the street and into a more productive environment and I don’t mind them using me as an example because its hard to imagine where I would be without the club. At the club I get to do something that I love, I get to play basketball. This helps me to relieve any stress that I may have. At the club I know that I can always leave my problems at the door. I also attend college 101 at the club where I learn a lot about college and what its gonna take me to get there. I am a member of our Keystone Club. This is a teen leadership program that focuses on a few key components. These include community service and academic success. I even participated in golf club which proved to be a way to get rid of stress and frustration as well as improve my temper and patience.
My favorite thing though is Passport to Manhood (aka The Shop). Its one day out of the week where only teen guys are allowed in the room and we Skype with a former club staff who is currently playing professional basketball in Portugal. We can talk about anything here and its good to have Steve Skyping with us because he is a great example of what it means to be a successful young African American male.
Whether its going to The Shop or attending summer teen nights, the club has always been a positive outlet for me and I will continue to attend until I graduate. I hope more young men and young women can take advantage of this great thing we call The Club.