The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Benton County works to encourage and empower all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. As it turns out, one of those young people is now making those same goals part of mission his as well.
“It’s something really special that’s happened in my life,” 15-year-old Boys & Girls Club Volunteer Asa Mojica-Lofton shared.
Asa is a recent Boys & Girls Club of Western Benton County Junior Youth of the Year. He’s an impressive young man who came to the club as a member, and now serves as a volunteer.
“If I see a kid in the gym that doesn’t have anyone to play with, I’m like ‘hey, do you wanna’ play some basketball or catch a football’ because I know how it feels to be in that position,” Asa explained.
Asa is proof the program works. As he put it, the Club gives his mother some relief because she does not have to worry where he is and what he is up to. Club Director of Operations Stephen Johnston says that is the whole point.
“Parents can know that they’re children are at a place that is not only supervised but we’re offering programming to help raise them and help them become caring and productive citizens as adults,” Johnston said.
Johnston cites statistics that show risky behavior for youth and adolescents happens most often between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. During those hours, Asa and the kids have found friendship instead of trouble.
“It’s fun that I get to throw the football around play basketball and just have fun with these kids,” Asa shared. “I mean that’s the best part about volunteering here, you just have fun.”
Johnston was quick to share the kids and the staff love Asa as well.
“He’s a great kid, he’s an example and a leader here,” Johnston offered. “Our younger members absolutely look up to him.
“He brings positivity, energy and certainly leadership. He sets a good example for the younger members of our club.”
Asa is only too happy to share what the Club means to him with others.
“Man I annoy the heck out of my friends,” Asa explained. “Yeah, I’m like ‘hey you should come the Boys & Girls Club.’ And they’re like ‘dude, you’ve already asked me that multiple times.'”
The Boys & Girls Club of Western Benton County operates at four different sites in Siloam Springs, Gentry, Decatur and Gravette. Throughout the years many in the Club have said their experience there is a large piece of the puzzle to what has made a difference in their lives. Click here to learn more about how the Club can help your children.