My biggest takeaways from Boys & Girls Club’s KIDSTOP program were building social and athletic skills, gaining the ability to work with others as a team, and making friendships. I spent a lot of time at the before-school program at Roosevelt Boys & Girls Club, where I acquired foosball skills that my friends couldn’t match, even today! At the after-school program at Madison, I loved spending time in the gym, playing in the different weekly sports leagues, dodgeball, and spread the eagle. The love of staying active really helped me thrive, and I went on to be a three-sport athlete in high school. I also played club rugby in college.
My favorite memory of KIDSTOP is playing dodgeball and spread the eagle with Andy and Paige. They were both great mentors for me. Andy taught me the importance of good sportsmanship and how to be competitive but still have fun. Andy continued to be a mentor for me after I left Madison.
The Boys & Girls Club also taught me how to treat others. I carry that with me today. On a funnier note, I still freeze and stop what I’m doing whenever someone does the loud clap sequence that we did back then to get all of the kids’ attention!
Today, I am an airline pilot with Endeavor Air, flying the CRJ-200 as a captain out of Detroit, MI. My company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, flying Delta Connection routes out of Minneapolis, Detroit, New York City, Atlanta, and Cincinnati. I’ve been with the company for 4 years. My wife and I have a 3-year old son named Lucas. The last few years have flown by so quickly! It’s wonderful being able to see my son grow and experience the world.
The Club encouraged me to do more than just show up and go home. The staff influenced me to go the extra mile when it comes to my work and volunteerism. I’m an active member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), where I help coordinate and put on air shows where we take kids flying on Young Eagles flights, giving many their first experience of flying in an airplane. I’m also active in my company and union with our Pilot Mentorship Program, helping our new hire pilots learn the ropes of working at an airline for the first time.
I’d like to thank the Boys & Girls Club’s KIDSTOP staff for their great mentorship! They were a support system for me as an elementary student, and I will never forget the life skills I learned throughout my membership at the Club.